Tuesday, November 18, 2003
What Would You Do: Snake Bite
It ranks as one of the top ten most common fears. People are petrified of snakes. But would you know what to do if a snake sunk its fangs in you? The Nightteam's Charles Perez has the do's and don'ts when it comes to dealing with snakes.
(WSVN) -- When it comes to dealing with snakes ... Even the professionals admit they are unpredictable.
"The first thing I did was say, 'damn.'"
Dozens of people are bitten by poisonous snakes in Florida every year.
"Ithought the snake was dead and when I went to go pick it up it quickly bit me."
So what do you do?
"If he's in a striking mode ... There's no way you can retract from the strike of a rattle snake."
Keep in mind a snake can strike at a speed of seven feet per second.
Watch this guy ... He's so fast we can't even see the strike with the naked eye.
Slow it down.
If this snake actually got a hold of Albert's skin ... These fangs are what would sink into his flesh.
Followed by the venom.
"Now the venom is located in two glands. There it comes. We can secrete the venom through the fangs."
Think of the fangs as perfect hypodermic needles injecting poison into your body.
"Best thing to do is 9-1-1 get medical help as soon as possible."
Fortunately, most snakebites are not fatal. And it's not the old west ... You don't need to try to suck the venom out.
"You will only relieve the residual venom at the wound, the venom that's traveling through the body can cause death."
Also, never cut a snake bite wound ... and never put a tourniquet on the bite to stop the venom from flowing.
"It's one thing to know what to do once the snake bites you. But, the best thing to do is not get bitten in the first place."
Albert says most snakes are scared by nature.
They try avoid confrontation.
Strikes like this happen when someone is trying to kill or move a snake.
Best advice ... Back away slowly and leave it alone.
Watch as Albert handles this poisonous rattler.
"He's gonna take off. He's not gonna want to confront me. See how he's leaving?"
But stick a foot in its face.
And that's instinct ...
So if you're going to be where snakes are ... whether that's your back yard or the Everglades ... dress for the occasion.
"Wear some good baggy pants, wear some good rubber boots, or maybe some thick leather shoes so that snakes would have a hard time biting through."
And be alert.
"If you actually hear a bush making that noise, don't run over there and run in the bush. Cause if you do, you might find one of these."
And finally ... take a look ... these are the poisonous snakes you find in South Florida ... the pygmy rattle snake ... the eastern diamond back rattler ... the cotton mouth... and the coral snake.
But since it's so hard to tell which ones are poisonous... It may be best to just avoid them all.
Next week, Elevator Agony. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator?
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