Sanax Pty Ltd snake bite kit in red plastic vest sized pouch, Sandringham, circa 1960s.

This small portable snake bite kit has instructions for treating both snake bite and spider bite, based on the technique of using a tourniquet to limit movement of venom around the body. Traditionally, a tourniquet was applied between the bite and the heart to keep the venom away from the body's circulation. A blade was then used to cut around the bite, and the venom was washed out along with the blood, usually aided by suction.

Sanax Pty Ltd were a Melbourne company located at 223-225 Bay Rd Sandringham. Sanax made 58 different first-aid cases as well as other medical products such as Ache Tablets. Sanax were still in operation selling medical and first aid supplies in 2010 in South Australia.

Physical Description

Sanax Pty Ltd snakebite kit in red plastic pouch. The kit contains a length of rubber tubing, a metal clamp, a Sanax 'Quixtrap' surgical dressing in a waxed paper bag, a double ended red plastic cylinder housing a metal blade tool at one end and printed instructions for using the Sanax Snakebit and Spiderbite kit rolled up in the other, and a clipping from the Herald newspaper about snake bit treatment.


This snake bite kit provides an example of a local Melbourne manufactured first aid product that aims to save the lives of people bitten by snakes. Being bitten by snakes was a health risk that was once a common problem in Australia, and particularly problematic in remote areas. This kit uses a traditional tourniquet technique as a strategy for slowing the circulation of the venom, and represents a popular medical treatment for snakebite in the twentieth century.

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