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Apr 8, 2010 2:33 PM by Carina Corral

Local hospital already treating rattlesnake bite victims

Rattlesnake season is upon us.

As sun warms up the ground, it invites snakes out of their winter hibernation.

If you happen to come across one of these rattlers, doctors say to stay calm.

"Don't try to pick it up. A lot of times the people that we see with rattle snake bites are many times young males that are intoxicated that see a snake and go and try to pick it up or use a stick to shew it out of the way and that's when they get bit. The best thing to do is to remain calm and back slowly away and don't try to pick it up," said Dr. Gary Lucchesi, an emergency room physician at Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton.

If you are not fortunate enough to escape a venomous strike, go immediately to the emergency room.

"You don't try to suck the venom out of the wound or any of those wives tales. You want to try to immobilize the area that was bitten so if you were bitten on the hand you don't want to use your arm very much, if you were bitten on the leg you want to immobilize that area. You don't want to use the limb or the area where you were bit," said Dr. Lucchesi.

The season just started and already Twin Cities Hospital has treated two snake bite victims.

The anti-venom runs $4,600 dollars a vial and they typical victim needs about 20 of them.

"It is quite expensive, but when you need it you definitely need it and it can be limb saving and life saving," said Dr. Lucchesi.

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