Example course

Lesson no. 1

Animal-Related Injuries

This topic will deal with animal-induced injuries. Apart from the initial response of the body to these injuries, some also have long-term effects. There are various species of venomous animals in the country, so we will list the most common ones, the specific treatment methods that are appropriate for each case, and the various diseases animals can transmit when in contact with humans.


An important concept in this lesson is the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a system of vessels that pass through our bodies, much like the vascular system. This system also includes lymph nodes that are mainly concentrated in the groin, armpits, neck and more. These lymph nodes are basically storage areas for cells called lymphocytes.

One of the important functions of this system is to fight infections and bacteria that enter the bloodstream. When a foreign agent passes through one of the lymph nodes and is identified by the lymphocytes, they multiply and fight against the same foreign agent.


It is important to remember the highlighted points in case identification may not appear at all or only partially appear.

General Points to Keep in Mind

  • Do not come in contact with stray animals for fear of transmitted diseases, such as rabies
  • Do not attempt to capture the offending animal, but rather have it photographed so that a specialized doctor can identify it afterwards
  • If you don’t know if an animal is poisonous, act as if it is
  • In nature, be extra careful not to turn over stones or enter high fields. While sleeping in nature, check your sleeping bag and shoes the next morning
  • Do not apply a tourniquet in any case of a bite/sting. Studies have shown that this further damages the organ tissue due to the high venom concentration
  • In any case of a bite/sting, do not try to suck the venom out, this can be fatal to the responder and its effectiveness is minimal.
  • The best course of treatment is prevention!


In Israel there are roughly forty-one species of snakes, of which nine are dangerous to humans and are divided into two families: Elapidae and Viperinae. They’re often found in the open spaces of the Negev, Arava and Eilat areas. An exception to this is the “Israeli Viper” that can also be found in settled areas.


Even in modern times, it’s unknown what factors affect the human body when bitten or how they operate on the human body.

Types of Venomous Snakes


  • Black Viper (Ein Gedi Viper): The deadliest of the venomous snakes in Israel. The snake is black and smooth, up to roughly eight inches long with a small, conical head. The black viper is active at night and is common in moist areas such as the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, as well as in the Negev and the Arava.


  • Common Viper (Israeli Land Viper): The most common and largest venomous snake in Israel. Common from Be’er Sheva northward, even in inhabited places with thick foliage where the snake is usually hidden. The color of its body varies according to the area in which it lives, from light brown on the coastal plain to dark brown in the Golan Heights. A curved brown stripe can be found on its back, with a relatively thick body. In Israel, about a hundred people are bitten every year by the Israeli viper.
  • Painted Carpet Viper: The color of the snake varies according to the color of the ground where it develops, ranging from brown to red. On its back are spots lighter than its general color. When the snake senses danger, it makes warning sounds that it produces by rubbing its scales. The snake is a good climber and is usually found near sources of water. It can be found in a diverse range of places geographically, including the Eilat Mountains, the southern and western Negev region, the Dead Sea region and the Judean Desert, the Jordan Valley and the Gilboa mountain range.


The venom, which the snake produces in special glands in its head, is actually saliva that has undergone many changes. The venom of the snake is transmitted in a small extent to the vascular system, but most of it spreads in the lymphatic system. The various types of venom are aimed at damaging one or several of the following systems in the body:


  • Nervous system: Causes paralysis or lack of control over muscles
  • Circulatory system: This venom causes lowering of blood pressure and increased clotting, slowing its flow. In addition, some types of venom attack the heart to impair its function
  • Muscles: Some types of venom contain digestive enzymes, these enzymes break down the tissues they come in contact with, causing the venom to spread faster.

Case Identification

  • Two holes in the skin as a result of the bite
  • Swelling in the area of the bite
  • Weakness
  • Changes in the level of consciousness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


  • Call for help. Time is a critical factor because the only proper treatment is an injection of the antidote that counteracts the effect of the venom
  • Calm the patient and prevent him from moving. Stress and movement will only increase the spread of venom in the victim’s body
  • Cover the injured area with a sterile pad
  • Remove jewelry from the affected area. The localized reaction will manifest as swelling of the limb and the jewelry can create unnecessary pressure and even worsen the damage
  • Take a photo of the snake or remember its description. Identifying the snake will lead to finding the appropriate antidote for the case.
  • Fixate the affected limb
  • Place the damaged limb lower than the heart, making it difficult for the venom to rise to the heart.

Do Not

  • Do not cool the area. Recent research shows that cooling the area causes even more damage. In addition, it is preferable to allow venom to spread a little so that its concentration in the blood decreases.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Do not suck the venom out.


There are about eighteen species of scorpions in our country, including three species fatal to humans. The scorpion usually hides under stones, in cracks and burrows. A scorpion sting affects the respiratory system and is especially dangerous to children due to their relatively low body weight.

Types of Dangerous Scorpions


  • Israeli Yellow Scorpion (Hebrew Deathstalker): The Israeli Yellow Scorpion is the most common of the scorpions in Israel and is considered one of the most dangerous species in the world. Its sting is particularly painful and the cause of death from this scorpion’s sting is a result of anaphylaxis, an abnormal allergic overreaction. Its color is light, while its back and the end of its tail are dark, making it recognizable. The Israeli Yellow Scorpion is common throughout the country except the Carmel region and the coastal lowlands, and is capable of climbing the walls of a house.
  • Israelite Scorpion: Its color is as bright as the sand, with its home including the coastal lowlands, the Negev and the Ein Gedi area. Its real danger is to children and adults with specific sensitivities.
  • Arabian fat-tailed scorpion: Dangerous, but less than the Israeli Yellow Scorpion. Its color ranges from dark brown to black, and it is common in the center and North of Israel. In Israel, there have been only a few cases of death caused by the sting of this scorpion.

Case Identification

  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Wheezing
  • Salivation


  • Immediate evacuation
  • Calm and prevent the patient from moving
  • Unlike with snake bites, it is recommended to place ice on the affected area of the scorpion sting

Do Not

  • Do not apply a tourniquet
  • Do not suck the venom out


Over six hundred different species of spiders exist in Israel and two of them pose a danger to humans. However, for the last fifty years, no death has been documented as a direct result of a spider bite. Sometimes, when defending itself, the spider bites as a warning and does not inject venom at all. In the case of a bite, most often, the chelicerae (the spider’s fangs/jaws) are unable to penetrate our skin at all, but if successful, a bite without venom insertion will still cause pain only because of the destruction caused by the tissue. Today, there is no sure way to know if a person has been bitten by a spider, unless it is seen firsthand, because the symptoms of spider bites are varied and similar to other diseases that are not related at all. Naturally, yet contrary to popular belief, spiders prefer to avoid confrontation with humans and bite when they feel they have no other option.

Types of Dangerous Species

  • Black Widow: The Black Widow derives its name from the popular belief that the female kills the male after mating; however, such an action is characteristic not only of black widows but the entire spider species.
  • The black widow has a black color, can reach about four inches in length and has long legs. Some have red dots on the lower abdomen. It is common throughout the country, but only moderately.
  • The black widow’s bite is hardly noticeable, followed by two small signs of skin penetration, but after a timeframe that can last from fifteen minutes to several hours, redness will appear in the affected area and intense pain will develop. Black widow venom affects the nervous system and causes muscle cramps and spasms as well as pain in the lower back and abdomen.
  • Mediterranean recluse spider: The Mediterranean recluse spider has only three pairs of eyes, unlike most spider species that have four, hence its more common name in Hebrew- “Sixen”. The color of this spider varies from light brown to reddish and its size can reach seven inches including its long legs. It’s found throughout the country and tends to hide in shaded and dark places. It’s mainly active during the night. When bitten the Mediterranean recluse spider injects two toxins into the body, one affecting the tissues in the muscle that will, in extreme cases, lead to necrosis in the affected area, the other damaging the red blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues and impaired RBC function will speed up the process of tissue death. The first symptoms after the sting are weakness, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.


Case identification

As explained, there is currently no way to detect injury as a result of a spider bite, aside from details of the incident.


  • Calm the patient, dangerous spider bites are rare
  • Rinse the area that has been bitten with soap and water
  • Cool the area
  • If there are any unusual symptoms other than the pain, or the pain is particularly intense, the person should be taken to a hospital.


Bees, wasps, and hornets are not defined as venomous animals. Their sting is a danger only to those with specific sensitivity or after multiple stings. In this case, breathing difficulties can occur, and in extreme cases even death.

Case Identification

  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling


In one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms, or if the person has a known allergy to bees, the Epinephrine syringe may be used if available, or the person should be taken to the hospital


Rabies is considered to be one of the most dangerous diseases in the world, both because of its relative ease of infection and also because its chances of recovery are near-zero. The disease is transmitted mainly through saliva, usually by an animal bite, but can also be transferred by licking. The disease is found in warm-blooded animals such as jackals, rats and bats.


The incubation period of the disease, that is, the time from actual infection of the rabies virus to the onset of symptoms, can vary from a few days to about a year, because the virus progresses in the human body about an inch a day and the symptoms begin when the virus reaches the host’s brain.

Case Identification

  • Hydrophobia – fear of water
  • Inability to swallow
  • Mood swings
  • Details of an event of biting or contact with a wandering animal



  • Prevention. Do not come in contact with roaming animals
  • Rinse the area with plenty of water and soap
  • Evacuation to a hospital.



The species of jellyfish that reach the shores of Israel are not dangerous and there is no need to go to the hospital except in outlying cases.

Case Identification

Based on details of the occurrence.


  • Use of aloe vera gel
  • Do not rinse with fresh water
  • Vinegar or lemon juice can be used
  • In cases of abnormal pain, take the patient to a hospital.

did you know

  • Using urine as a way to alleviate jellyfish burning can cause the opposite effect and worsen the patient’s pain by causing additional venom to release.
  • In medical history, there are only a few cases where people recovered from rabies, the first of which was Jeanna Giese in 2004.
  • Rabies was selected by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most dangerous disease in the world”.
  • There are jellyfish in the world smaller in size than a fingernail, with venom potent enough to kill an adult.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the tarantula is not dangerous to humans in any way.