National News

Emergency Rooms See Increase In Snakes Bites

Posted June 16

— With the warmer days here and everyone heading outdoors, emergency rooms in our area are now seeing an increase in patients with snake bites.

"Typically, summer is going to be a pretty prime time for snake bites," Nycole Oliver, Sparks Regional Medical Center nurse practitioner said. "In Arkansas, we'll see copper heads and water moccasins."

Sparks Regional Medical Center is fully equipped for the bite increases it will see in the coming months.

"We are one of the only hospitals in the area that has anti-venom here," Oliver said. "We keep it in-house, which is really nice."

There are several types of snakes you may find in your yard or on a hike, but snake experts say as long as you don't mess with them, they won't mess with you.

"Leaving them alone is the best option," Brad Birchfield, snake expert said. "Even it's a venomous snake, the chance of you getting bit if you don't mess with it is greatly reduced."

If you do come in contact with a snake, Birchfield said there are a few safe ways to scare off the reptile.

"A lot of snakes don't like water," Birchfield said. "If you spray them with a hose, they retreat. Sometimes, you can take a broom or use a ho to scoop them up and just carry them off and they're fine."

But, the most important thing to remember is if you get bit, go to the emergency room immediately.

"The best snake bite kit you can have is a set of car keys and a cell phone," Birchfield said.

Those at Sparks Hospital say if you do get bit, try and get a good look at the snake or try to safely take a picture of it. By doing that, you will help doctors with the proper treatment.

In our area, experts said you are likely to see venomous snakes such as the copper head and non-venomous snakes like the king and black rat snakes.

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