Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Man bitten by severed rattlesnake head almost died in Texas

Man bitten by severed rattlesnake head almost died in Texas

A Corpus Christi man has had more than two dozen doses of antivenom after he was bitten by a rattlesnake even after he had severed its head, according to a KIII-TV report.

Jennifer Sutcliffe and her husband were doing weekend yard work when she spotted a 4-foot rattlesnake. The man decapitated it with a shovel and later bent down to get the snake when the severed head bit him - twice. Trauma surgeon Michael Halpert said although dying from a snake bite is rare, it happens.

The man is recovering in a hospital, the story said.

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But his condition deteriorated so badly that an ambulance had to meet him en route, and he was later life-flighted to a hospital.

She said the first 24 hours were the worst.

"A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenom", his wife said.

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However, he is still experiencing weak kidney function more than a week after the incident. Gizmodo reported one anti-venom doctor worked on "a case where a someone was envenomated by a mummified snake head years after the reptile died".

A rattlesnake can still bite and release venom after its death because of a reflex action.

Her husband, who has not been named, decapitated the snake with a shovel, but that wasn't the end.

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Just like anyone else, Sutcliffe's husband tried to kill the snake. Reportedly, snakes can still bite after an hour of getting beheaded as they have slower metabolisms. Whereas a living rattlesnake will generally bite the victim, imparting a dose of venom into it in the process, a dead rattlesnake will apparently release all of its venom into the victim, as the Texas man found out the hard way. A better option, experts say, is to call animal control to have the snake safely removed.

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