19-Month-Old Bitten By Venemous Snake
(Arlington, TN) David Hill was just steps away from his 19-month old son, Shane, when the toddler was bitten by a venomous snake Monday morning.
“I put a tourniquet on him up around his shoulder right after it happened,” said Hill. “My fiancé] went to the bathroom and began to wash it off. Her stepmother got on the phone and called 911 and I just started sucking his hand to try to get the venom out.”
Hill says he was doing everything he could until the ambulance arrived, but what do experts encourage when someone is bitten by a venomous snake?
“Luckily, Copperheads are one of the most mild, venomous snakes in the country,” said Memphis Zoo’s snake expert, Chris Baker.
We asked him what his research says to do.
He says experts will give you differing opinions based on limited data available, But they all agree on keeping the person calm and seeking medical help immediately.
Baker would say drive to the hospital.
Don’t wait for an ambulance.
“There is one drug, one anti-venom that covers all North American pit vipers, so they don’t need to identify the snake,” said Baker. “If it’s venomous and you’ve been envenomed, they will give you an anti-venom.”
Hill says doctors told them in their case to wash the wound and elevate it.
Luckily for Shane, he did not have to receive an anti-venom.
He was monitored closely for two days. Hill is just thankful his son is alive.
“We’re very lucky. We’re grateful,” he said. “He’s going to be alright. He’s a tough guy.”
Baker says one way to tell if a snake bite is venomous, is there will be a burning sensation. He says if you’re not sure, go to the hospital anyway.