The best way to Survive Snake Season, Even when You Get Bit

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Might 25, 2018 — Welcome to snake season. Because the climate warms up, serpents will begin to slither out of their winter hideouts and, inevitably, cross paths with people. Such encounters might finish in a visit to the emergency room.

“All through the spring and summer time months, the numbers (of snakebite-related ER visits) double, triple, possibly much more than that,” says Diane Calello, MD, an affiliate professor of emergency medication at Rutgers New Jersey Medical College in Newark. “It’s actually a warm-weather phenomenon.”

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The CDC estimates that as many as eight,000 persons are bitten by venomous snakes within the U.S. every year. Such bites are hardly ever deadly. They kill about 5 individuals yearly. However snake venom could cause critical hurt.

“Venom causes ache and swelling and maybe some blistering on the web site of the chew, and it damages tissue,” says Bret Nicks, MD, a professor of emergency medication at Wake Forest Baptist Well being in Lexington, NC. “Massive quantities could cause inside bleeding.”

Within the U.S., venomous snakes fall into one in every of two varieties: pit vipers and coral snakes.

Pit vipers share many bodily traits, similar to triangular heads, vertical pupils, and a pit between their nostrils and eyes. The snakes on this class embody:

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Coral snakes, says Nicks, stay principally in Florida and Georgia. They’re black and crimson with white or yellow bands.

Snake Venom

Pit vipers account for a lot of extra bites than coral snakes, however bites from both should not at all times toxic. When they’re, the quantity of venom can range. It’s because snakes management the discharge of their venom: The higher the risk it perceives, the extra harmful its chew. Nicks says that one in 4 pit viper bites are “dry,” or freed from venom, whereas 50% of coral snakes’ bites ship venom.

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