Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Snake Fun

Because, as an Animal Uprising 2012 Colleague states, 'petting a snake is always recommended' ...

Banner Poison Control Center treated four patients this past weekend for rattlesnake bites. There have been eight victims in the past week.

Experts said that means this is the time to take precautions; snakes are particularly active when daytime temperatures remain above 82 degrees Fahrenheit.Patrick Hotchkiss of Quartzsite, Ariz., was one of the victims. He had just stepped off his porch Sunday afternoon when he was struck.

"I felt two sharp things, sort of akin to piece of broken glass that snaps off," said Patrick Hotchkiss, from his hospital bed at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.Hotchkiss said this particular snake was about 2-and-a-half feet long and did not rattle prior to striking."I should've been more vigilant. Usually I am," said Hotchkiss.The snake bit him on the right heel. His ankle swelled to twice its normal size. He’s in some pain, but doctors said he’ll recover.

Some of the other victims were gardening or hiking. One child was playing in a yard.But others got closer than they should have. Doctors said one man was bitten on the hand after trying to pet a snake. They said the man had been drinking prior to the incident.

“We've seen several people who've tried petting the snakes, and even on occasion people trying to kiss the snake. Any of those things usually result in the patient getting bitten,"
said Dr. Michael Levine, a toxicologist at Banner Poison Control Center.Doctors said it’s important to call for help or get to a hospital after a rattlesnake bite.“Typically the snake's envenomation can cause a lot of muscle problems and can cause a lot of bleeding problems," said Dr. Levine.

Doctors also want to dispel some common myths surrounding rattlesnake bites.They said do not use a tourniquet to restrict blood flow. Do not cut the bite site or try to suction out the venom. Also, do not try to capture the snake and bring it to the hospital. Identification of the snake is not necessary for treatment.

Got that kiddos? Don't pet, or try to kiss a snake, especially after you've been drinking ... you have no idea whether the beer goggles make that snake look a whole lot hotter than it really is. Oh, and if its poisonous, it will probably bite your face, which will then swell up, and then you can die.

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