Health expert shares tips on treating poisonous snake bites - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Health expert shares tips on treating poisonous snake bites

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A local doctor is giving advice about treating poisonous snake bites and is asking the community to be careful when outdoors this summer. 

Regional West's Medical Director at Emergency Services, David Cornutt M.D., says poisonous snake bites can be traumatic and cause a person's heart rate to go up quickly. 

Cornett says if you get bit, try and remain calm, get away from the snake, call 911 and don't cover the bite with a dirty cloth. 

Depending on where the bite is located, he suggests it's important to keep your leg or arm level or elevated to your heart. 

Cornett says it is common to see a rattlesnake in Nebraska under rocks or in the shade, somewhere out of the sun. He says just be mindful of your surroundings. 

"Be mindful that rattlesnakes occur in every state and union except Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine. So you have to be cautious and mindful. Here in Platte Valley there are a few serious snake bites every year so just be cautious," he said.

Regional West Medical Center has seen one visitor with a serious rattlesnake bite this year. 

In June, a 7-year-old girl from Harrison was bitten by a rattlesnake after picking flowers from a family member's garden. She was transported to the Scottsbluff hospital but was then sent to a children's hospital in Denver.

"When the patient arrived here she was doing pretty well but because of her age and the concern over how serious in venomation was, it was elected to transfer her to a children's hospital in Denver because we felt they could probably coordinate any serious complication a little better," Cornett said.

Cornett also says sucking the venom from a poisonous snake bite doesn't help and is a misconception. He also mentioned that the venom in baby rattlesnakes can be more toxic than in adults, but there is less venom inside of the baby snake. 

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