Venomous Snake Bites

The few venomous snakes native to the United States include three from the asp/viper family: the copperhead, the cottonmouth or water moccasin, and the Western diamondback rattler. Also included are three from the coral family: the Eastern (common coral snake), the Texas coral snake and the Arizona coral snake. The bites from these snakes can cause damage to the skin, tissue, and muscle surrounding the bite, producing effects within just a few hours. The most common symptoms at the bite site are pain, swelling, tenderness, tenseness, and loss of feeling. Several factors can affect the extent of damage caused by the snakebite such as the person’s age, size, height, and weight, sensitivity to venom, the species and size of snake, and the location, depth, and number of bites. Secondary issues are infection, tissue loss, and muscle damage. Similar to a severe burn, sometimes the amount of tissue damage and loss due to results of the bite is greater than the damage from the venom itself.

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