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Man tries to eat rattlesnake; snake bites back

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Man tries to eat rattlesnake; snake bites back

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:20 pm

PHOENIX - An Arizona man was hospitalized after surviving a rattlesnake bite to the face while trying to show off to friends at a party by attempting to cook the reptile on a barbecue grill.

Victor Pratt, 48, was bitten Sept. 7. He was first treated at a hospital near his Coolidge, Ariz., home and then transferred to Banner-University Medical Center in Phoenix. Coolidge is nearly 60 miles southeast of Phoenix.

While celebrating his child's birthday with friends, Pratt said he decided to show them how to catch and cook a rattlesnake after one of the reptiles showed up in his yard during the party.

Pratt, who was interviewed Friday, grabbed the venomous snake and was showing it off to friends and family, posing for several photos. But he lost his grip on the snake's head, and it attacked him.

After being bit twice, once on the chest and once on the face, Pratt said he knew immediately that something was wrong, having been bitten once before when he was 19.

"I said, 'We gotta go now,' because I knew what was going to happen," Pratt said.

He was taken immediately to a local hospital, which doctors said saved his life. He also has received 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 hospital's toxicology director.

Curry said getting a tube inserted into the patient's airway is vital, especially in face bites.

"If they can get their airway established, they're very lucky," Curry said. "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."

Pratt was sedated as the procedure was being done, and remained that way for five days, including when he was transferred to the Phoenix hospital.

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