Adder Bites

The adder or European viper (vipera berus) is the only venomous snake found in Britain. Adder bites are most likely to occur during the summer, and then only when the snake is provoked.

Not all bites result in envenomation, and whilst bites can cause significant discomfort and medical problems, death is very rare.

First aid

  • The patient should be reassured and calmly and quickly transferred to hospital usually by ambulance.
  • The bite should NOT be touched and the affected limb kept immobile.
  • DO NOT suck the wound.
  • DO NOT cut the wound.
  • DO NOT apply bandages or tourniquets.

Further information

This article published on
01 July 2005

Next review date 7/1/2013


First aid
Travel problems
Travel problems

Areaof the body

Not applicable

Male or female?


  Home | Terms & conditions | Privacy policy | Site map
Owned and Managed by StudentHealth Ltd