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North Texas Hospital Treats Copperhead Snakebite Victim

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Harris Methodist Hospital Dr. David Smith holds a vial of snake antivenom. (credit: KRLD)

Harris Methodist Hospital Dr. David Smith holds a vial of snake antivenom. (credit: KRLD)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – An area snakebite victim says he won’t make the mistake again. Gabriel Flores was trying to keep a copperhead snake away from some kids playing at an Arlington apartment complex this past weekend when it happened.

“He bit me,” Flores explained. “I [looked and] saw my hand bleeding.” Flores says his hand and arm started to swell to more than twice the normal size.

Flores was rushed to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth where Dr. David Smith treated him. “He had a puncture wound from the snakebite and some swelling of his hand that advanced up his arm,” Dr. Smith said of Flores’ injuries. “That responded very well to the Profab [antivenom] and he’s done very well.”

Doctors say venomous snakebites can be very serious and patients need to get a shot of antivenom medication as soon as possible.

Despite the fact that venom from copperhead snakes is toxic and extremely painful, Flores is confident he’ll be fine since receiving successful antivenom treatment. “I feel okay. I feel okay,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m gonna die, or something like that.”

In case you’re wondering, Dr. Smith says you should ignore those western movies that show someone sucking snake venom from a wound. “That’s pretty much of a myth. It’s hard to get the venom out [and] potentially dangerous, because the human mouth is very, very dirty bacteriologically.”

Doctors didn’t have a hard time figuring out what type of snake bit Flores; he killed the reptile and brought it with him to the hospital.

Officials at Harris Methodist say the get about 17 snakebites a year, but this was the first urban case in about two years.

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