This is one of those useful bits of information that bears repeating no matter how many times you've heard it before: a decapitated snake head can still bite you. If you separate a snake's head from its body, don't touch it immediately. Better yet don't touch it until you splatter its brains with a shotgun.

According to KIII-TV: a Texas man needed more than two dozen doses of antivenom after a beheaded rattlesnake bit him last month near Corpus Christi.

The news station reports that Jennifer Sutcliffe and her husband were doing yard work the weekend of May 27 near Lake Corpus Christi when she spotted the snake. Her husband severed its head with a tool, but when he bent down to throw it away, the snake's head bit him. Mr. Sutcliffe survived, but it was certainly a dire and scary situation.

The dangers from a snakebite run the spectrum from swelling to death. Several factors affect the severity of a bite including the snake, the number of strikes and how deeply the fangs penetrate. The risks also depend on where a bite occurs — in a vein or a muscle, for example — and how long it takes to start treatment.

With warmer weather, more snakes are coming out of brumation, similar to hibernation. If you come across one, leave it alone. But if you are bitten, here's what to do — and not to do:


For questions about what to do, where to go or the effects of snake venom, you can also call the North Texas Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

If you have no means to get to an emergency facility, or if you are extremely dizzy or have trouble breathing, call 911.

If bitten on an extremity, try to avoid moving it so the circulation of the venom might be slowed.

Take a picture of the snake that bit you or try to remember its markings. At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, there are pictures of the most common snakes. Some people have brought the whole snake to the hospital after killing it.


Don't try to suck out the venom like you've seen in the movies. It doesn't work. Likewise, never make a cut where the snake bite is and try to draw out the venom. And don't use electricity, tourniquets, heat or suction devices.

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