A man from Arizona was bitten on the face twice while playing with a poisonous rattlesnake. Doctors were able to save the life of Victor Pratt, 48, who was celebrating his child’s birthday in the city of Coolidge on September 7. During the celebration, a rattlesnake was discovered nearby, and Pratt decided to grab and play with it like he had when he was a teenager.
‘I showed them how to play with it and was playing with it like little kids do. This is how you play with a snake.’ Pratt said that while he was handling the dangerous creature, he lost his grip on the snake’s head and it attacked him. ‘I wasn’t thinking… I was showing off like I always do and this time it got me in the neck’ and on the face, he added.
The 48-year-old admitted that he was also bitten on the hand when he was 19, and having lived through a prior experience, knew he had to get to a hospital as soon as possible. ‘I said, “We gotta go now,’ because I knew what was going to happen,” he explained. Pratt was taken to nearby Banner University Medical Center, where doctors were able to save his life, being treated with doses of antivenom.
‘If an airway is not established in the first few minutes, in our experience less than 15 to 30 minutes, then those patients really don’t have a chance to survive,’ said Dr. Steven Curry, Banner University’s toxicology director. ‘If they can get their airway.
‘That is, you’re lucky to have been bitten and been able to make it to the hospital in just a few minutes in order to have those emergency procedures done that are needed to save your life.’ Doctors were forced to heavily sedate Prat due to the location of his injuries, which are particularly dangerous and require stronger medication.
‘I lost five days of memory,’ Pratt said. ‘I didn’t know where I was for five days.’ Dr. Curry told azcentral.com that if someone is the victim of a rattlesnake bite, they should seek immediate medical attention and not treat the injury at home.
‘First-aid measures such as tourniquets, ice, incisions or taking the time to apply suctions… are dangerous and harmful,’ he said. ‘Or completely ineffective, as in the case of suction.’ Venom from a rattlesnake is toxic, and can damage the tissue of the affected area. It can also cause swelling, paralysis and numbness. Having a bite to the face or neck can close a person’s airwaves through swelling, blocking oxygen to vital organs along with internal bleeding.