Hospital Reports High Number Of Snakebites
August 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LOGAN, Utah, Aug. 10 (UPI) — A Utah hospital reports treating six cases of snakebite so far this year, far more than the average one or two a year.
Staffers at Logan Regional Hospital say an unusual number of rattlesnakes have been reported in residential districts in the area in Cache County on Utah’s border with Idaho, The Herald Journal of Logan reported.
Two of the bites occurred in the past week.
“This is highly uncommon as far as the number that we’ve seen,” Debbie Ostrander, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Monday. “And our emergency department physicians and our hospital, we are urging people to be safe and cautious and just aware when they’re out in any location that could have the habitat for snakes.”
Breck Rushton, director of emergency services at the hospital, said two of the six bite victims were trying to capture snakes. The others were bitten when they surprised a snake while walking in brush or traversing rocky areas.
Two of the six were “dry bites” with the snake breaking the skin but not injecting venom. That is in line with the usual percentage.
Treating snakebite is expensive, with victims requiring four to five vials of anti-venin at $2,000 a pop, followed by a 48-hour hospital stay for observation.