Emergency Room Director Urges Vigilance Amid Spike in Snake Bites

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The city of Weatherford has seen more snake bites than normal for this time of year, and they’re warning people to be on the lookout.

Physicians in Weatherford say they’ve seen enough snake bites among patients to cause concern. Dr. Nathan Holbrook is the Medical Director of Emergency Services with Medical City Weatherford. He said they’ve seen five snake bites this week alone. Typically, they'll see one or two per week this time of year.

“I wish I could tell you a perfect reason as to why the last couple of weeks we’ve seen such a spike,” said Holbrook. “I don’t have a perfect explanation except it is just kind of the time of year folks are getting out more and doing stuff again.”

While he can’t nail down the exact reason, Holbrook said it’s wise to be mindful of certain reptile behaviors, like the fact that many snakes are most active during the cooler parts of the day. Also, keep in mind what’s most common here in North Texas.

“Far and away, most common in this area is going to be copperhead bites. We certainly do have cottonmouths; some people call them water moccasins. And also rattle snakes,” he said.

Holbrook said the best course of action if bitten is to head to the ER.

“Some of the things that I should probably mention not to do that you may see on a John Wayne movie, don’t try to suck the poison out. Don’t put a tourniquet on it either. And typically, ice is not recommended,” he said.

It’s best to back away from a snake when you see one and don’t try to capture it.

“Unfortunately, they’re good at playing dead and they can be what seems to be dead, and actually alive in the bucket,” said Holbrook. “So please don’t bring snakes to the emergency department.”

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