Home » Banner Poison and Drug Information Center Warns of Increased Rattlesnake Activity

Banner Poison and Drug Information Center Warns of Increased Rattlesnake Activity

by Pleasant View

As the weather starts to warm in the desert, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has started to see an increase in calls regarding rattlesnake bites. Arizona is home to 13 species of venomous rattlesnakes and provides assistance in managing about 125 snake envenomations per year.

“As we move into the warmer months of the year, more and more of Arizona’s venomous critters become active,” said Bryan Kuhn, PharmD, DABAT, pharmacist and clinical toxicologist at the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center. “If you see a snake in the wild, try to go around it and give a wide distance, if possible, or just turn back and find a safer route,” Kuhn said.

If there is a rattlesnake around the home, call a professional pest-control company to relocate it. Don’t try to move, kill, or relocate it yourself — doing so only increases the likelihood of a bite. Rattlesnakes enjoy hiding underneath structures such as wood, brush, and rock piles. Removal of these debris piles can help minimize the likelihood a rattlesnake will take up residence near your home.

Unfortunately, many children are bitten or stung by venomous critters every year. According to Maureen Roland, RN, director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, about 5 to 10 percent of rattlesnake bites reported to the center involve children under 13.

“We encourage parents to start early with warning their children about rattlesnakes — it’s important that kids know to stay away and not try touch snakes,” Roland said.

In case of a rattlesnake bite, remain calm and call 911. Even though up to 25 percent of rattlesnake bites are considered dry bites (where no venom is deposited), all rattlesnake bites must be evaluated in an emergency department.

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With so many new residents moving to Arizona from out of state who may be unfamiliar with the native venomous critters and plants throughout the state, people are encouraged to call the Poison Control Center 24/7 to ask questions about any of these concerns and methods of prevention, risk mitigation, and treatment.

If you or a loved one believe there has been exposure to any poison, medication or chemical, please call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. The poison centers can assist in the evaluation and management and help determine if it is necessary to seek additional medical attention.

Call 1(800) 222-1222 or 602-253-3334 (local); 24/7/365 with questions regarding this or any other poison, drug, or chemical exposure.

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