Inland Empire News

Poisonous snake bite cases up in warm weather

Thursday, May 27, 2010

As the weather warms, all of nature's creatures move around and that includes rattle snakes. Medical professionals say they've been treating a record number of snakebites already this year.

"I've lost count but I think we've seen a couple of dozen so far," said Dr. Sean Bush of the Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"It's more snake bites earlier in the year than I am used to seeing. Memorial Day weekend tends to be a busy time. When there's lot of snake activity and lots of people activity. I mean, the two come together, then we get a lot of snake bites," said Bush.

There are two venomous snakes in Southern California. One is the Southern Pacific Rattler and the other is a Red Diamond Back Rattler.

Bush said that the Southern Pacific Rattler generally lives in cooler climate in the mountains. They are a little darker in color and they're the ones you're likely to come across in the Inland Empire.

Eight-year-old Jake Buchanan of Murietta can testify to that. Jake was bitten in his hand by a rattler about three weeks ago in his back yard.

"I was starting to say, 'Oh Mom, I can't feel my tongue. I can't feel anywhere!'" Jake described.

He said that the hospital he went to didn't have enough anti-venom, so he had to go to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Most bite victims will survive the bite if they are treated promptly, but it can be a very long, painful experience.

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