Snake Bite Warning

SNAKE BITTEN
By: Rich Johnson Venomous snakebite is sometimes erroneously viewed as not all that serious, because most victims survive. What is only rarely reported is the physical devastation that some survivors endure after envenomation. Here are some tips to help avoid snakebite. • If you encounter a snake, point it out to others in your group and then give it wide berth and leave it alone. Many snakebite incidents occur when trying to kill or move the serpent. • If you know you will be camping, hunting, fishing or hiking in snake country, wear high leather boots or snake gaiters and remain on clearly visible trails as much as possible. • Stay out of tall grass and dense brush. Snakes often take refuge from the sun in the shadows of brush and grasses. • Be very careful where you place your feet and hands, especially when climbing on rocks, around ledges or crossing logs. • Carry a long stick so you can probe the area ahead of you as you travel. Rattlesnake venom is a hemotoxin that is carried by the circulatory system and can cause severe damage to tissue. Even if you survive, the aftermath might be horrible. After this young man was bitten on the palm of his hand, his entire arm became swollen to the point doctors decided to perform a fasciotomy from the palm of his hand to his bicep to relieve pressure.
Over the next 35 days, eight surgeries were performed. With the injury open, doctors could clean out dead tissue.
The healing process is a slow one, but gradually, the injury began to improve.
Stitches and staples were used to hold the edges of the wound in place, and a surgical mesh covered the open muscles.
A skin graft, using tissue removed from the victim's leg, was used to cover the opening in his arm.
Follow up surgeries included a vascular flap procedure using skin and muscle from the victim's back, connecting the flap's blood vessels to the ones in his arm using microsurgery before stitching the flap to his arm.
After twenty months and thirteen surgeries, the snakebite victim has recovered mobility and about 80% of the strength in his affected arm and hand. For more outdoor survival tips, visit Rich Johnson's website at: www.richjohnson-outdoors.com

EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT: Summer and snakebite go hand in hand. Here's how not to become a victim.