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Area teen hospitalized after snake bite

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POSTED: March 29, 2012 7:00 a.m.
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Christopher Whitmore takes a course of anti-venom treatment at St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah.

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A Richmond Hill teen has been released from the hospital after he was bitten by a snake last Tuesday near Daniel Siding Loop Road.

Christopher Whitmore, a 17-year-old student at Richmond Hill High School, was released Thursday after he spent two days at St. Joseph’s hospital in Savannah as a result of the snake bite.

According to his mother, Lynn Whitmore, he was released after four rounds of anti-venom. Since no one actually saw the snake, Lynn Whitmore said she was relieved the hospital’s anti-venom covers all species of venomous snakes.

The incident occurred around 6:40 p.m. while Christopher Whitmore was walking with a friend in a wooded area near Daniel Siding Loop Road. He said he bent down to pick up a stick and then felt the bite, which he described as similar to being “poked by a needle.”

“The bite wasn’t terrible, but once it started swelling, it started hurting,” he said.

Lynn Whitmore said the doctors assumed the snake was poisonous by the pattern of swelling.

“It was swollen past two major joints by the time we’d been seen by the doctor,” she said.

She said he is expected to recover and have very little dead skin around the affected area.

“The surgeon talked to us and brought in a specialist who said it’ll probably be very little dead skin and it’ll scab away,” she said. “The medicine did what it was supposed to, and with him being young and healthy, that really helped.”

Christopher Whitmore said he didn’t see the snake because it was under a piece of carpet someone had left in the area. He said since it was near a swampy area, doctors said it was likely a copperhead or a cottonmouth, sometimes referred to as a water moccasin.

Though he admitted to some worries about losing his hand, he said if someone gets bitten by a snake, they should just stay calm.

“Don’t freak out — just go to the hospital,” he said.

While Whitmore and his family responded fast to the situation, some may not recognize the signs of a snake bite. According to the Center for Disease Control website, snake bites may be characterized by a pair of puncture marks at the wound, redness and swelling, severe pain, nausea and vomiting.

Other signs include disturbed vision, labored breathing, increased salivation and sweating and numbness or tingling of limbs and/or face.

In the case of a snake bite, the website encourages people to try to see and remember the color of the snake and seek medical attention as soon as possible. The website also says staying calm and still can slow the spread of the venom if the snake is poisonous.

Also according to the website, snakes can be found in backyards, woodlands and parks. Larger snake species will frequent backyards, the website says, in search of food like mice, rats and occasionally birds and their eggs. For problem snakes, the website suggests purchasing glueboards that can be found at hardware or home improvement stores.

For more information, go to www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/snakebite.asp.

 

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