LV Historical Assoc
Custom Construction LLC
Drama Kids

Venomous snakebite is city’s fourth this year


LA VERNIA Following another copperhead snakebite in the area last week, this year’s total is now up to four, and Ronnie Rye of the La Vernia Volunteer Ambulance Service is afraid its only the beginning.

A woman in her 30s became the La Vernia area’s fourth snakebite victim of 2011, after the serpent struck her on the evening of June 14.

“She was reaching down to move a lid or something in her flower bed when she felt the bite,” Rye said.

The victim drove herself to the EMS station where she told Rye and others that she had been bitten by what she thought was a coral snake. The bite was to her right middle finger, and Rye said her finger was starting to turn black. Rye later went to the victim’s home and found a copperhead within a foot of where the bite occurred.

“That snake got her good,” Rye said. “She was in considerable pain and had swelling all the way up her arm to her armpit.”

According to Rye, protocol in Texas is to transport venomous snakebite victims by medical airlift to a trauma center and that is exactly what they did.

When last Rye heard, the victim was stable, but still in the hospital receiving treatment.

Four snakebites in two months are far too many in the minds of most. And while the heat and drought are undoubtedly contributing to increased contact with snakes, Rye has made several observations about where these attacks are occurring.

“These bites seem to be happening in flowerbeds and in other cool, wet areas around peoples’ houses,” he said. “It also seems like people have gotten rid of big shrubs and bushes and now have these smaller ones that are closer to the ground. They make great hiding spots for these snakes.”

Rye also pointed out some of the simple biology at work in these cases. Cool, damp flowerbeds and garden areas tend to attract small amphibians such as frogs, toads, and lizards. Snakes like the copperhead feed on these small animals, making these areas into the perfect hunting grounds for hungry pit vipers.

If you do become the victim of a venomous snakebite, Rye says the best thing you can do is to remain calm and call 911 immediately. While some people may think it best to drive to a local hospital, Rye suggests otherwise.

“The hospitals in the area aren’t prepared to handle snakebites,” he said. “They will end up transporting you to a trauma center too, so the best thing to do is call EMS first and get transported there sooner.”

Heavenly Touch Massage Therapy
Drama Kids
Triple R DC Experts