Rattlesnake Bites and the Snakes of Hunting Country
Rattlesnakes are the most common snakes of hunting country (especially in the West), and most hunters are not prepared for an encounter with rattlesnakes or any other snakes of hunting country and rarely give it a second thought. Though rattlesnake bites are rare, they are often nasty as the story and photos below will illustrate for you.
A real account from an actual rattlesnake bite victim:
…during the 30 minute Life Flight helicopter ride I was in and out of consciousness, having trouble keeping my eyes open.
We arrived at the hospital, where the doctor in the emergency room decided that my rattlesnake bite was too severe to treat there… the last thing I heard before going unconscious.
I was taken from the Modesto hospital to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where I underwent a fasciotomy. The doctors cut my arm open from the palm up to about the middle of my biceps to relieve the extreme pressure that had built up from the rattlesnake venom.
I spent 35 days in the hospital, had eight surgeries on my arm, and finally a skin graft from my leg to close the wound. Once I was released, I went through four months of intense physical therapy, and had to fly to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina for a follow-up vascular flap surgery. They took skin and muscle from my back, and attached its blood vessels to the ones in my arm. Two emergency surgeries were required within 24 hours on account of blood loss, but the vascular flap was a success. After six more months of physical therapy I could move each finger only 2-3 millimeters.
13 surgeries, $700,000 worth of helicopter flights, surgeries, and hospital stays (paid by my insurance), and 20 months later, my hand now has fully mobility and is about 80% as strong as it was before.
This is the reason you never want to be bitten by a rattlesnake or any other poisonous snake of hunting country.