How deadly is the rattlesnake?
There is much
exaggeration when it comes to snakes! While the rattler
is defined as a venomous and deadly reptile, it is a
combination of facts that truly place him in a position
where we can better understand this definition. A large
specimen of the common Western Diamondback may actually
contain enough hemotoxic venom to destroy the lives of a
number of adult humans. However, it is also an observed
fact that most older, larger snakes tend to be less
aggressive and often strike only when actively provoked.
They can also control their venom flow and usually hold
this back somewhat, rarely fully using what may be
present. This would help to account for the extremely low
fatality rate in human bites when compared to total
number of these unfortunate bites. Some years in heavy
snake populated areas have resulted in death rates well
below one tenth of one percent of all bites! Such a
sometimes almost negligible level should not be seen as
an open invitation to disregard the danger, pain, and
suffering which even a small rattler can inflict! The
bite is very painful and alarming, and it can cause
extensive tissue damage in the local area. With so many
variables involved in each unique bite situation, there
is no simple formula to apply about the danger.
Typically, the smaller the body mass (young child), the
more danger. The faster the metabolic rate and
circulation, the more potential for damage. The more of
an allergic reaction or negative side effects, the more
damaging the bite. The more envenomation, obviously the
more potential for damage and pain. In the same light,
the more effective the first aid, the less likely the
negative damage. And so on, until we see that the factors
may be played out endlessly when it comes to a victim and
the bite characteristics. The best medicine, as usual, is
the sum total of preventive measures to avoid the bite
situational conditions! Be aware of environmental and
behavioral specifics going on around you and the bite
scene is truly minimized! Still, unfounded fear is not a
good continued answer for avoiding a bite!
|Authored by CONCISE COMMUNICATIONS. This page last updated on 05/28/97.
Copyright © 1997 CONCISE COMMUNICATIONS & TNE, Inc. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
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