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.
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.
Donation from Unknown, Pre 2010
Sanax Pty Ltd, 223-225 Bay Road, Sandringham, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1960s
A newspaper clipping accompanying this kit mentions 'The Navy Lark, a BBC show that ran from 1959 until 1975 on radio station 3DB, which was sold and changed name in 1988. This suggests that the date of manufacture and use was circa 1960s. Sanax appears to still be in operation but is now in South Australia. See http://www.sanaxmedical.com.au/
Pouch, front, gold printed text: '"Sanax" / SNAKEBITE / KIT / SANAX PTY LTD / MELBOURNE AUST.'
Type of item
75 mm (Width), 80 mm (Depth), 15 mm (Height)
Measurement of overall packaging. The contents of this kit are tightly folded or rolled to fit inside this plastic package.
Exhibition Collection Management
80 mm (Width), 15 mm (Depth), 85 mm (Height)
[Link 1] accessed 3 August 2010. Note this website is still under construction so no detailed information could be accessed.