Hypothetical question (Niland area) - rattlesnake bite?

GJJ

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My hunting partner came inches from getting bit by a rattlesnake at one of the DWU fields in Niland. For the future, if a person was to be bitten, what would be the best plan of action?

Would you call ahead and drive to the Hospital in El Centro? Indio? There would be no one that you would get you, so you would need to get to help on your own. Right?

I carry a snake bit kit with the suction cups and am familiar with the need to keep the victim calm and his pulse down. I know to not suck the poison out, make cuts, use tourniquets, ect.. I just want to clarify the next step for this area since I hunt there so much.

Thanks,
Dave
 

scorpucla

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GJJ,

You probably were asking for additional first-aid like help, but let me offer up this bit of advice as well. Since most of the Niland area (at least where I've been) is in cell phone range, you'd want to dial 911 immediately and notify emergency services that you need assistance. They'll want to know your location, and then you can plan out the best place to meet. It might be quicker to drive to a hospital, but it also might be quicker for them to dispatch an ambulance and/or helicopter to you.

I've had to deal with two hunting accidents in the last 3 years. Luckily, we were able to get the victims help. One person was driven about 100 miles to a hospital, and the other person was air lifted out via helicopter, after we got out of 4x4 country.

Hope this helps.
 

GJJ

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Thanks. I always carry my cell phone. I would guess, I could be wrong, that some sort of helicopter dispatch would be the only thing faster than me driving to the nearest hospital.

It is kind of scary that 120+ people have looked at this thread and no one, including myself, has a rock solid gameplan in case of a medical accident.
 

Marty

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Hey GJJ, No need to flame anyone for browsing your topic.

In addition to knowing the local hospitals, does anyone know the local manned fire stations? I would assume the one in Brawley is manned, and it is a closer location to Niland.

If you are evac'ing someone and cannot get through to the 911 operator, you can call the CHP. The El Centro CHP number I have is: 760-482-2500.
 

GJJ

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I was not intending to flame anyone. Just an observation. This reminds me of the big limitation of the internet, it is easy to misinterpret someones "tone of voice".
 

cam188

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With any envenamation the key is not to panic. Dependeng on where the bit is just leave it be. DO NOT LANCE IT and try to suck out the venom it is pointless. Those kits are a joke. Venom is a protien (a digestive enzyme) and once the chemical reaction occours you can't suck anything out. Just leave the wound alone. let it bleed. Venom also contains an anticoagulant but you won't bleed to death it will clot.
Do not kill the snake and bring it to the hospital. There is only one serum that is polyvalent that is not species specific. The doctor wouldn't be able totell the difference anyway.

Do not put any kind of pressure bandage or anything else that constrictss the venom from flowing unless you have trouble breathing or are becoming delerious. Rattlesnaek venom is hemotoxc meaning attacking the blood and tissues all carry some nurotoxic tendencies but that is not their core design. If you restrict venom to one area by the time you get to the hospital you may have to much necrosis for them to save some of the tissue say your finger. Also be prepared for extreme pain hemotoxic venom attacking the tissues is not pleasant. But most people survive with treatment.

Don't panic, Stay Hydrated, get to the hospital as soon as possibel for IV Fluid and anitvenom if needed. Realize that most people have an allergic reaction to the antivenom that may be worse then the snake bite. Most hospitals shotgun antivenom alot of times before it is needed.

You want the venom to dilute in your system. If we lived in Inda and you where bitten by a cobra this advice is null and void. You would then want to use a pressure bandage because cobra venom is nuerotoxic and if it hits your system and shits down your ability to breath and move you are pretty much dead.

Calling in advace would be a great idea so they can prepare for the patient. If you know the numbers. I know this is life and death but if a hunter you are with does not have insurance and you have the abillity to get them to the hospital before the emergency team would arrive I would say do it because it is going to cost enough as it is for treatment let alone a helicopter or ambulance ride added to it.

Ask any queations you like.
I have worked with most venomous snake species..
Chris M.

The key is don't get bit.......
 

dsrthunt

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There is also a hospital in Brawley that would be closer than El Centro. Just thought i would chime in with that one.
 

quailhunter

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Most places that i hunt in don't have any reception in them.
Just a tip: don't hunt too far from your car, you never know what might happen.
Snakes are the worst thing in hunting.
GJJ
What kind or type of field did your friend see the snake on.
Was it near english rd. ?
 

GJJ

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It was the DWU field on Davis and Winslow. Very close to English road.
 

canadagoose

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (cam188 @ Nov 14 2006, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I know this is life and death but if a hunter you are with does not have insurance and you have the abillity to get them to the hospital before the emergency team would arrive I would say do it because it is going to cost enough as it is for treatment let alone a helicopter or ambulance ride added to it.[/b]
About ten years ago, it was $2800 for the copter to take off and you pay mileage after that. Fortunately, my insurance mostly covered it.
 

GJJ

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I am a pretty cheap, I mean fiscally conservative guy. But, the cost would not even be a consideration if I or someone I knew was bitten.
 

canadagoose

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Yeah, cost definitely wasn't a concern for me at the time either.

EMT: We need your permission to transport you by helicopter.
Me: Um, let me get this straight. You're asking the guy with the head injury whether or not he thinks he should go by helicopter? If you think I should go by helicopter, then I go by helicopter.

Turned out to be an abundance of caution in the end. The twitch has mostly cleared up.
 

cam188

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I had a buddy bit by a paniment rattlesnake when we where out hunting for Rosy boas in the Rand Mountains about ten years ago. In the spring you just go and flip shale and in the day as it warms up and you will usually find them.

Well he had lifted a stack of shale and the bottom piece he stuck his fingers under and basically but is finger in the mouth of the snake. When he lifted the rock there was a pair of speckeds the female calm and sitting coiled and the little male aggitated. I hear him yell he got bit but is holding both snakes when he said it and thought he was bull$shiting when I got to the top of the hill I saw the blood.
The snke only got one fang in but that was enough.

So we take the drive out of R43 takes about 20 min to get to Redrock randsburg road and we are driving like 110mph. When we get to Mojave their are like three HWY patrol and one sherrif sitting in a coffe shop so I run in side and tell them what happend no one gets up they just say you can wait for an ambulence or drive him there yourself which will probably be faster. "Don't worry about getting stopped we are all here". I was like wtf screw this and we left.

Got to Ave J in Palmdale went into the emergency room told them what happend and they admit him. Everything was fine except for pain. We had them monitor him to see if the symptoms got worse and they did not so no antivenom was given. The only thing they didn't do was check his medical history to see that he had an ulser and codine would screw him up so two days later he was back at the hospital not for the snake bite but the meds. It took about 2hrs to get to the hospital. Didn't know at the time but probably should have taken him to Ridgecrest.

Long story short don't panic just do what ever it takes to get the job done. This was before everyone had cell phones and sometimes it takes just as long for the proper help to get there as it does for you to take them.
 

garsrene

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Chris,

Very good input, it seams you have some experince with snakes, also to calm down the victim you can tell him/her more than 50% of bites are 'dry'means no venom has been inject. For a snake venom is very precious they don't waist it!!!!

But if you get bite you have to know also the rattler venom is necrosant means it litteraly disolves your tissues, to be short you will have a big scar.....


That's why now I carry a red flare from Orion in my pocket, this thing cost 2 $ and last for 15 min enough for an helicipter to see you few miles away in the middle of nowhere , a 2 ways radio from Motorola (like cops or fireman)may be a good idea to reach the channel 16!!!!

Be safe

Seb
 

rcrosby

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A good pair of leather boots is great protection from a rattlesnake in a field. Not that you want to go around trying it but the majority of foot bites are below that ankles and a thick leather boot is pretty good protection. What is it Cam like 80% of bites are the hand and the person is drunk?

I have a passion for snakes also and have kept, handled and photographed quite a bit of them. I have a few snakes around here still, honduran milk snakes and jungle carpet pythons. I spent a lot of nights down in Palm Springs crusing around looking for boas. Whitewater Road!
 

spectr17

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
A good pair of leather boots is great protection from a rattlesnake in a field.[/b]
I was swapping war stories with an ex Army Ranger about Savannah GA a month back when he told me about getting nailed in the big toe by a water moccosin down there . He had on army leather boots. I wouldn't trust anything but proven snake chaps or boots.

Best advise on not getting bit I've ever heard, don't play with da snake.
 

cam188

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Most of the bites are males between 18-45 intoxicated messing with the snake. Accidents usally occour hunting with improper footware and if you sit or are hiking a rock face lets say and bad hand placement.

I am so used to hunting for them that I am a little more in tune to see them. Most of the time during my hunting season it was to cold for them to be out and about. Just always look before you place hand or foot in unvisible territory. They don't always rattle if they thinlk they are safe. If they bite a leather boot the only place they normally get through is the seams. Their fangs are thin and break off really easily.

I wear really tall whites leather boots if I am busting a lot of brush during anytime I think they may be active and a THICK leather boot will protect you the best. You don't need gators or any of that nonesense in CA if you can't see a 4-5 foot rattlesnake in your way maybe you shouldn't be out in the woods hunting hiking or anything else.

The only snake I have left at home is 11 foot Burmese Python. I got tired of cleaning cages.
 

spectr17

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
You don't need gators or any of that nonesense in CA if you can't see a 4-5 foot rattlesnake in your way maybe you shouldn't be out in the woods hunting hiking or anything else.[/b]
Um, I can count quite a few times where someone else or me stood next to a rattler and never saw it until it buzzed or moved, sometimes in plain sight. Their camo is pretty famous, some even make a clothing line modeled after buzzworms.

One time I was about to sit down turkey hunting and this little plant that looked like a dandelion with stickers on it made me start kicking the dirt to get rid of it. Out sailed a rattler that was coiled up around the plant which neither Bubba nor me saw. About a 1 1/2 fot rattler and yes, he did strike my shotgun barrel when I held it in front of him to check. It was cold that morning and I guess he was just keeping warm.

I work in the mtns a lot and it's not rattlers you see you have to worrry about, it's the ones YOU DON'T SEE. One example, at a fire station I reached down for the coiled up hose on the parking lot and I could see perfectly well and curled up inside the hose was a rattler. You'd had to have kicked the hose to see him. Nothing around but sunshine and concrete on that one, it was just a cool area that rattlers liked in the afternoon. Thank god he buzzed.

Anybody who can walk through 2 foot high cheat grass and see what's laying up ahead has Superman vision IMHO. That's why I bought gaiters. The snake Doc at Loma Linda Hospital is not on my list of places to visit. I'm also not fascinated by the tissue loss as described above and from what I've seen in person. Rather grotesque.
 

cam188

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Spectre,

The key is you can stand next to them all day and they will leave you alone.

Alot of people get bit while gardening esp small/Baby rattlers will sit coiled around plants.

Your story made another good point to look out for. Reptiles are ectothermic and cannot control their body temps so on that hot day when you go sit in the shade make sure you are not sitting on one they just try to maintian optimum body temps.
 

spectr17

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I don't know about standing next to a Mojave Green cam188. I've had one encounter where the snake was agressive and flat out onery. Reminded me of a water moccossin. I've seen a post or two on here when the greens were aggressive. I think your training helps you spot them easier compared to a hiker or hunter/fisherman. Copperheads are the hardest for me when they are in the oak leaves. Amazing camo on them creatures.
 


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