Deadly brown snake bites Queensland woman in her bed while another serpent seen in fridge ice dispenser

A Queensland woman has been bitten in her bed by the world’s second most venomous snake, the state’s ambulance service says.

The eastern brown snake bit the woman, who is in her 20s, on her hand in the early hours of Friday on a rural property in the Western Downs, two and a half hours west of Brisbane.

“Not a surprise to wake up to,” the Queensland ambulance service wrote on Facebook, adding that a Toowoomba-based LifeFlight rescue helicopter had taken the woman to hospital.

The woman’s family wrapped her hand in bandages before paramedics arrived. She was given anti-venom before the flight.

Darling Downs Health, which runs Toowoomba hospital, said: “The patient remains in a serious but stable condition.”

Tim Hudson, of Queensland-based Hudson Snake Catching, said brown snake fangs were just 3mm to 4mm long, so bites were usually painless – but could be fatal if untreated.

“It’s certainly possible that people can get bitten and not realise,” Hudson said.

He added that houses, and in this case a bed, were “fair game from a snake’s point of view”.

“This snake quite likely would have come in during the day when it was hot yesterday and I suspect … could have been in the house overnight,” he said.

The medical emergency came two days after a snake was spotted in the ice dispenser of a fridge in the Adelaide Hills.

This was in my friend’s fridge yesterday. To make it worse her son was bitten by a venomous snake when he was just 6 years old so this was extremely traumatic for her.

— Gillian Fennell (@stationmum101) January 11, 2024

The post on X attracted scores of comments from people recounting of encounters with deadly Australian snakes and the shock of seeing a snake in a fridge.

“It’s so imperative that everyone understands snakebite first aid and has easy access to bandages,” Hudson said. “You need to get those bandages on straight away and makes arrangements immediately for an ambulance or a safe alternative to go directly to hospital.”

This article by Pamela Rontziokos was first published by The Guardian on 12 January 2024. Lead Image: The eastern brown – the world’s second most venomous snake – that slithered into the Queensland woman’s bed and bit her hand. Photograph: LifeFlight.

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