Colorado

Jun 3, 2013 8:41 PM by Andy Koen

Parkview doctors treat two rattlesnake bites in two weeks

A Pueblo West woman is recovering at Parkview Hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake over the weekend. It's the second rattlesnake bite doctors at the hospital have treated in the last two weeks.

Mary Elizabeth Brown was working in the yard Saturday afternoon with her mother near Prairie Winds Elementary School. She was barefoot and had gone to the turn on the water when the snakelet that was hiding in a shrub lashed out and bit her left foot.

"I thought it was just like a sticker or something because we have stickers out there," Browns said. "I looked down and there was two holes like a snake bite and it was."

Bites more from young rattlesnakes tend to be more dangerous because the reptiles are not yet able to control the amount of venom they release the way mature snakes do.

Mary Elizabeth had been in intensive care since Saturday but was upgraded Monday afternoon.

"Snake bites are horrendous," she said.

Parkview recently held its annual rattlesnake bite seminar to remind employees about the dangers and precautions associated with rattlesnake bits. Hospital spokesperson Michelle Peulen said they are expecting a tough year for snake bites.

"It's that time of year when snakes are coming out of hibernation," Peulen said.

Snakes tend to stay in the shade during the heat of the day and then come out to warm themselves on rocks and asphalt when temperatures cool in the evening.

"When you're out riding your bike, walking your dogs on the bike paths, be aware of what's infront of you because it's very typical for those snakes to lay across those bike paths because it's so warm," Peulen said.

Should a rattlesnake bite happen, Peulen says it's best to stay calm and get immediate medical attention. Mary Elizabeth wants others to learn from her ordeal as well.

"Wear shoes, protect your legs as much as possible or you'll be in the hospital for a week like I am."

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