CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Due to persisting warm weather conditions, venomous snakes could be continuing issue in the Coastal Bend.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, about 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. annually. Roughly half of all venomous snake bites are "dry," which means the snake did not inject venom. However, health experts said even if you think it was a dry bite, still get it checked out.
Jennifer Carr with the Corpus Christi Medical Center said sometimes people get bitten and don't even realize it. Additionally, Carr said there are a number of things residents can do if they are bitten by a snake.
“Do not put on a tourniquet,” Carr said. “Some things they can do is remove any constriction devices such as jewelry, watches, rings."
Even the consumption of alcohol or caffeine can have a negative impact on the human body.
“Do not drink alcohol or caffeine. That can speed up the body's absorption," Carr said.
Carr said it's also important to seek medical attention immediately.
Individuals who are bitten are encouraged to call 911, and should not drive themselves to the emergency room. Be sure to go to an emergency room that carries antivenom because there is a chance you might need it, but doctors will determine that.
Here is a list of safety measures Corpus Christi Medical Center has released so residents can stay safe.
If possible, take these steps while waiting for medical help:
- Move beyond the snake's striking distance.
- Remain still and calm to help slow the spread of venom.
- Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
- Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
- Clean the wound with soap and water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
- Lift the bitten limb so that it is level with the heart.
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