Emergency Rooms See Increase In Snakes Bites

ARKANSAS (KFSM)- With the warmer days here and everyone heading outdoors, emergency rooms in our area are now seeing an increase in patients with snake bites.

"Typically, summer is going to be a pretty prime time for snake bites," Nycole Oliver, Sparks Regional Medical Center nurse practitioner said. "In Arkansas, we'll see copper heads and water moccasins."

Sparks Regional Medical Center is fully equipped for the bite increases it expects to see in the coming months.

"We are one of the only hospitals in the area that has anti-venom here," Oliver said. "We keep it in-house, which is really nice."

There are several types of snakes you may find in your yard or on a hike, but snake experts say as long as you don't mess with them, they won't mess with you.

"Leaving them alone is the best option," Brad Birchfield, snake expert said. "Even if it's a venomous snake, the chance of getting bit, if you don't mess with it, is greatly reduced."

If you do come in contact with a snake, Birchfield said there are a few safe ways to scare off the reptile.

"A lot of snakes don't like water," Birchfield said. "If you spray them with a hose, they retreat. Sometimes, you can take a broom or use a hoe to scoop them up and just carry them off and they're fine."

But, the most important thing to remember is to go to the emergency room immediately if you're bitten by a snake.

"The best snake bite kit you can have is a set of car keys and a cell phone," Birchfield said.

Those at Sparks Hospital said if a snake bites you, try and get a good look at it or try to safely take a picture of it. By doing that, you will help doctors with the proper treatment.

In our area, experts said you are likely to see venomous snakes such as the copperhead and non-venomous ones like the kingsnakes and black ratsnakes.