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Rattlesnake Bite a Learning Experience for One Family

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The emergency department at Mercy Hospital of Folsom treats an average of four snakebite victims per month during the summer.

The Sacramento Bee’s Cathy Locke reported about a Folsom boy who was rushed to Mercy Hospital of Folsom after getting bit by a rattlesnake on a local trail in Folsom. Mercy Folsom emergency physician, Dr. Aaron Breit, shares these guidelines for anyone who may suffer from a rattlesnake bite:

  • Don’t cut into the bite wound, it does no good and can cause more tissue damage 
  • Remain calm and get the bite to a neutral position
  • Consider marking the bite with an ink pen, as swelling can occur quickly
  • Try to get the victim to a hospital as quickly as possible. Calling an ambulance may be beneficial, because paramedics can establish an IV and administer medication for pain or anaphylactic shock
  • A person bitten while in a remote area should be taken out by litter, rather than trying to walk

As rattlesnakes are quite common this time of the year, following California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s suggestions can help you avoid a rattlesnake snake bite:

  • Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Wear hiking boots.
  • When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
  • Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
  • Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.

Read the story in the June 10 issue of The Sacramento Bee.

Read more information about Mercy Hospital of Folsom and our Emergency Department.

You can also join our conversation about the rattlesnake bite on Facebook.

Publish date: 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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Lindsay Leszczynski 
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