Rattlesnake bite information and tips

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While we haven’t even made it through the first month of the year, Erath County has already seen it’s first snake bite. An older gentleman was working in his yard in the county and was bit on the forearm. And his case isn’t so rare. According to administration officials at Lake Granbury Medical Center, their Level 4 Trauma Center sees an estimated 10-12 snake bite victims a year.

Knowing this, The Flash wanted to make sure area residents were aware of all the safety measures and local hospitals that can help when it comes to rattlesnake bites.

Have A Plan In Place:

  • Know which hospitals are closest to you and the route you will take to get there in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure to have a list of those hospitals that carry anti-venom. Look below.

What To Do If Bitten:

  • Call 911 immediately to be evaluated.
  • Take off anything that is constricting the affected area, such as a ring or watch.
  • Position the affected area at or above heart level. This means that if you are bitten on the hand, bring it to heart level, and if you’re bitten on the leg or foot, elevate it if possible. This minimizes the amount of local tissue swelling, which is common in rattlesnake bites.
  • Go to the emergency center – the sooner the better.

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Local Emergency Rooms with Anti-Venom:

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville – only place in town
  • Glen Rose Medical Center – only place in town
  • Lake Granbury Medical Center and Hospital – a Level 4 Trauma Center with 24/7 full emergency room services
  • Comanche County Medical Center – only place in town
  • Hamilton General Hospital – only place in town

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Myths and Tips for treating snake bites:

  • It is not necessary to bring the snake – dead or alive – to the hospital with you. In fact, it is highly recommended you not bring it!
  • Do not apply a tourniquet or a constriction band.
  • Do not apply ice; it can cause local tissue damage.
  • Do not apply heat.
  • Do not cut the affected area and attempt to suck the venom out – this increases the amount of local tissue damage.
  • Do not use a commercially-available extraction device. These have also shown to be ineffective in removing venom and actually increase the amount of tissue damage.
  • Do not use electrical therapy.
  • Do not apply any type of lotions or ointments.
  • Making noise to scare snakes away won’t help, per se, since snakes don’t have external ears. However, they will feel the vibrations if you stomp on the ground – that will scare them away.
  • If you have a plastic soda bottle and a clean cloth or paper towel you can make a venom sucker by cutting the bottom of the bottle off and put the cloth or towel in the bottom of the bottle to absorb the venom as you hold it pressed over the bite and suck from the top of the bottle.

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