Doctor says that most likely, it was the Southern Pacific rattlesnake
“Chris is doing very well,” said Dr. Jennifer Smith, who has been treating local COC student Chris Bolewski after he was bitten by a snake while moving some brush on Sunday.
“When he first came to us he was having pretty severe swelling and pain in his leg and he was showing signs of muscle breakdown,” she said. “Both of those things are improving, and he’s up and around with the physical therapist.”
One of the problems that Chris has run into is that snake venom has been known to cause blood thinning. Currently, his blood will not clot if he sustains even a minor injury, so they are keeping him at Loma LindaUniversity Hospital for monitoring.
As for what type of snake bit Chris, Dr. Smith believes it to be a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Earlier reports had come through the media saying that a Mojave Green was the suspected perpetrator. That is not the case, due to his symptoms and the area he was in when bitten.
Dr. Smith was quick to point out that the swelling in Chris’ leg could not go away for months, but most likely she believed he will make a full recovery.
“These events tend to be billed as “snake attacks” as if the snakes are hunting us out and attacking us, which isn’t true,” said Dr. Smith. “They generally only bite when they are trying to defend themselves.”
If you should find yourself a victim of a snake bite, Dr. Smith has some pointers that may save your life: “There’s a lot of first aid myths that people believe about treating snake bites, such as sucking the bite site, or putting a tourniquet on it. Unfortunately none of these methods work and some of them can make you worse. The most important thing is to get to the hospital as quick as possible.”
Interpretive Naturalist and KHTS columnist Wendy Langhans wrote an article specifically about snakes in our area. Read that article by clicking here!