Scaffolder Aaron Bryant, 46, died from a snake bite at his Deeragun home on Thursday evening. 20/04/18. Pic: Contributed
Scaffolder Aaron Bryant, 46, died from a snake bite at his Deeragun home on Thursday evening. 20/04/18. Pic: Contributed

Snake bite victim’s fatal error

BRETT Boggs has spoken about the sad events leading up to his neighbour's death in Townsville on Thursday night, after the man was bitten by a deadly eastern brown snake.

"He was a top bloke, real fit, a hard worker," Mr Boggs said of Aaron Bryant, the 46-year-old who was bitten on the hand by the 1.5 metre venomous reptile while he and his wife tried to chase it from under their house.

While Mr Bryant didn't seem concerned about the bite, Mr Boggs knew if it was brown, it was most likely poisonous.

When Mr Bryant knocked on Mr Boggs door, he told his neighbour "I'm pretty sure it's poisonous," but Mr Bryant didn't seem too concerned by the bite after someone else down the road suggested it may have been a tree snake.

But a few minutes after his neighbour had visited, he heard a woman yelling for help.

Mr Boggs rushed to his neighbour's house and found him on the floor struggling to breathe and began to perform CPR.

"It was scary at the time, I didn't really have time to think about it. Just had to do it," he told the ABC.

Statistics released by the National Coronial Information Service in March 2017 showed 35 people died as a result of a snake bite between 2000 and 2016. The eastern brown was responsible for 23, or 65 per cent, of those deaths.

The author of the study, Dr Ronelle Welton, from the University of Melbourne's Australian Venom Research Unit, said one fifth of snake bite fatalities occurred when people tried to pick the snake up.

The eastern brown snake accounts for 65 per cent of snake bite deaths in Australia since 2000. Pic: The Australian Reptile Park
The eastern brown snake accounts for 65 per cent of snake bite deaths in Australia since 2000. Pic: The Australian Reptile Park

"People should not attempt to pick up snakes, and need to be encouraged to practice appropriate first aid and know CPR," she said.

"I never realised it would happen so quick with a snake. I don't think it's (the shock) really hit me yet," Mr Boggs told the Townsville Bulletin.

The tragic incident has motivated Mr Boggs and other neighbours in the Townsville suburb of Deeragun to clear their backyards of clutter and leaf debris. While the species is particularly prevalent in open grasslands, pastures and woodland, the eastern brown snake has been known to thrive in areas populated by humans.



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