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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MD
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yesterday I was nearly bitten by a timber rattlesnake. I was

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yesterday I was nearly bitten by a timber rattlesnake. I was alone in the woods, a one hour hike from my car and then an additional one hour drive from the nearest hospital. Had I been bitten, what should I have done?

Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hi there,


I am Mysticdoc, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.


I am here to help you with your concerns.

Customer:

yesterday I was nearly bitten by a timber rattlesnake. I was alone in the woods, a one hour hike from my car and then an additional one hour drive from the nearest hospital. Had I been bitten, what should I have done?

Mysticdoc :

not all rattle snakes are venomous.

Mysticdoc :

Nonvenomous snake has rounded head, round pupil and lacks fangs.

Mysticdoc :

After the bite, you should avoid moving your affected arm or leg.

Mysticdoc :

It is better to keep your arm down the heart level to prevent any venom absorption.

Mysticdoc :

clean the wound with soap and water or just water whichever available.

Mysticdoc :

do not apply tourniquet or pressure to reduce blood flow --against current recommendation.

Mysticdoc :

Then you should call 911 for urgent evaluation in the ER.

Customer:

No cell reception where I was.

Customer:

I would have had to stay put until the venom wore off (or I died) or hike for an hour.

Mysticdoc :

ok

Mysticdoc :

in that case, you should watch out for any systemic toxicity like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, numbness, mental confusion.

Mysticdoc :

Otherwise, you should try to walk back to nearest locality as soon as possible.

Mysticdoc :

it is better to look for the snake feature to determine if it is venomous or not.

Mysticdoc :

However, after bite you should get out of the snake area as fast as possible.

Mysticdoc :

In case of nonvenomous bite, it is not life threatening.

Mysticdoc :

Even if it is venomous bite, you should still be able to withstand the venom effect couple of hours to get medical attention.

Customer:

Ok, good to know, especially since I probably would have stayed put. Now I'll know what to do it I ever do get bit. Thanks.

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