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Avoid Summertime Snake & Insect Bites

Avoid Summertime Snake & Insect Bites

Posted - Jun. 13, 2003 at 5:32 p.m.



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Ed Yeates Reporting...Snakes, spiders, ticks -- even scorpions -- are out and about in this mild, dry weather and the experts are warning hikers to watch where you sit and step.

Owen Dade is recovering at Timpanogos Regional Medical Center after a rattlesnake bit him.

He and his girlfriend had been sitting for about fifteen minutes here on the shores of the Provo River. He reached down to grab a rock to skip across the water when the snake bit him on the finger.

Owen Dade / Snake Bite Victim: "AFTER I GOT TO THE HOSPITAL AND GOT IT X-RAYED AND GOT SOME MEDICINE - WHEN THEY CUT THE TOURNIQUET OFF IT FELT LIKE THE MOST INTENSE PAIN I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. MY WHOLE ARM WAS SWOLLEN UP FOUR OR FIVE TIMES ITS SIZE - FELT LIKE IT WAS READY TO POP."

Dr. Martin Caravati says Utah's Poison Control Center is getting calls - what they would expect in this kind of weather.

Martin Caravati, M.D./Utah Poison Control Center: "ABOUT THE SNAKES AND THE SPIDERS, AND WE'VE EVEN HAD A FEW CALLS ABOUT SCORPION STINGS."

ED YEATES, EYEWITNESS NEWS: "THOUGH IT'S GETTING TO SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD YEAR AFTER YEAR, THE EXPERTS SAY LISTEN TO THE ADVICE. WHEN YOU'RE OUT IN THE WILDS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS."

Look before you walk, sit or grab, whether you're hiking on a trail or cleaning up debris in your backyard.

Martin Caravati, M.D./Utah Poison Control Center: "IF YOU SEE A SNAKE OR A SCORPION, JUST LEAVE EM ALONE. MOST PEOPLE GET BITTEN BY SNAKES BECAUSE THEY'RE INTERESTED IN THE SNAKE."

That wasn't the case with Owen Dade. But, applying a tourniquet as he did may have been a mistake.

Martin Caravati, M.D./Utah Poison Control Center: "THAT JUST CUTS OFF THE BLOOD SUPPLY. WE DON'T ADVISE ANY INCISION. WE DON'T ADVISE ANY SUCTION EITHER WITH YOUR MOUTH OR ANY OTHER DEVICE."

Just get medical help as soon as possible.

In addition to snake bites, Primary Children's Hospital recently treated a two year old from Ogden, seriously ill with Colorado Tick Fever. The child had been bitten by a tick.

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