Benson man a reminder to beware of rattlesnakes - Tucson News Now

Benson man a reminder to beware of rattlesnakes

By Scott Kilbury - bio | email 

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - It's that time of year when you should watch your step.

Dick Hamilton got more than he bargained for when he and his wife were visiting a friend who just checked out of the hospital. Little did he know he would be making a visit to the emergency room that night.  

As he was walking to his car, the Benson resident stepped on a rattlesnake. The two-foot reptile bit him just above the left ankle. His wife raced him to the Benson hospital and he started receiving treatment within 10 minutes. 

Fortunately for Hamilton, the doctor told Hamilton it was a dry bite, when snakes excrete none or very little venom. A quarter of rattlesnake bites are dry, meaning they release no venom, but it is still prudent to seek medical attention.

It's been nearly two weeks and Hamilton's leg is still swollen and black and blue. Fortunately the snake that bit him wasn't a baby. Younger rattlesnakes can release more venom than an adult because controlling the amount of venom they release is a skill they develop over time.

The snake that bit Hamilton didn't rattle.Western Diamondbacks usually do to dound a warning that it's not comfortable.

So, what should you do when a rattlesnake attacks? Health experts say, keep the bite area still and lower than the heart. 

     WHAT NOT TO DO:

  •      Do not use ice to cool the bite.
  •      Do not use a tourniquet.  This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.

In all situations, seek medical attention when bit by a snake.  The Western Diamondback is responsible for most of the deadly snake bites in the U.S..

©2009 KOLD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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