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Pressure Immobilization First Aid Guide

After envenomation from an animal, the poison travels through the lymph system in the body. This is a circulatory system that contains ducts, vessels, and nodes.

This help guide explains how pressure immobilization can slow the spread of venom through the lymphatic system if you get bitten or stung by a poisonous snake, octopus, or cone shell.

What is Pressure Immobilisation Technique (PIT) Used For?

An Australian Professor developed a pressure immobilization bandage to control venomous bites and stings in the 1970s.

This emergency first aid strategy is used after injection of a venom by a poisonous a animal, especially:

The tactic works by slowing down (or restricting) the spread of deadly venom through the lymph system and into the blood circulation.

Research shows that this envenomation technique results in very little venom reaching the bloodstream when firm pressure is applied over the injury site and the limb is immobilised (e.g. with a splint, flat brace) to slow lymphatic drainage.

Plus, pressure immobilization bandaging may also help to inactivate certain kinds of animal venom by trapping it in body tissues.

Pro Tip: Being envenomated by a poisonous creature creates a serious threat to human life. Even so, applying the pressure immobilisation technique (PIT) means the bitten person may have more time to reach a local hospital and receive proper medical care.

Pressure Immobilisation Technique Steps

Follow this basic first aid step-by-step guide for bandaging a limb that has been bitten and using a splint or sling to keep the limb immobilised (e.g. arm, leg):

Pro Tip: Anyone who is running a PADI dive centre will have a duty of care for helping injured divers. Hence, use common sense and be prepared to have them evaluated by a medical professional.

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