Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jumper Cables Used to Treat Rattlesnake Bite

Independent Record [Helena, Montana]
24 July 2008

Snakebites: what not to do

By EVE BYRON - Independent Record

After 23 years as an emergency room physician, Dr. Mark Rabold still takes his business seriously but can’t help but wonder in amusement about some of the situations he’s encountered involving rattlesnake bites.

One of his favorite stories involves an anesthesiologist who had just recently moved to Montana. The guy ran over a rattler with his dirt bike, but the tire spun up the snake, which hit the biker in the stomach and bit him.

Then there’s the one — Rabold’s had so many patients he can’t remember if he treated this guy or just read about it — where a man was struck by a rattlesnake, and the guy’s buddy tried a home remedy to treat the wound.

“His buddy got the jumper cables and hooked him up to a giant battery for his semi, then fired up the engine. He probably had to put down his beer first to put the clamps on each side of the snake bite,” Rabold said, laughing. “The guy is screaming, yelling and seizing from this treatment; they thought it would somehow break the venom down.

“Someone actually did a study, and found that electric therapy doesn’t work. It’s just an interesting layman’s myth. This guy ended up with third-degree electrical burns.” [...]

Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 111-117 (2001).

Collective Review

Use of stun guns for venomous bites and stings: a review