UMC Issues Warning After an Alarming Number of Snake Bites - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/17/05

UMC Issues Warning After an Alarming Number of Snake Bites

University Medical Center issues a warning as the warmer months approach to steer clear of underdeveloped areas. This comes after already treating an alarming amount of snake bites this year, UMC has already treated three snake bites and Covenant has treated one.

In 2003, UMC reported six for the entire year. Last year, they reported a record 18. Partly to blame for the increased bites is that homes are popping up in areas which were once heavily populated by snakes. Most of the time when you see a barricade, it's usually there for a reason. Snakes may be part of that reason in areas of Ransom Canyon.

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Resident, Robert Keinast said, "We go out in the fields and a lot of times the dog will be there playing. As long as you make noise and if you see them just stay away."

Keinast has lived directly across from an open field for nearly ten years. Much of the time that's where the culprit strikes, but he's learned to respect nature.

UMC Trauma Services Director, Wendi McNabb says they've already treated three snake bites this year. She said that's an alarming number, considering in the past bites haven't occurred until warmer months. One factor contributing to the increased number is that nature was once untouched in the fields. However, houses are now being built near those areas.

McMabb said, "You see deer more walking around in environments where you used to not and so the same thing holds true with snakes, they're just getting more comfortable with having humans around them."

Many times snake bites happen next to open fields, which is where you need to be most mindful of snakes.

Residents at Ransom Canyon say they don't see snakes everyday, however, Keinast says he's mindful of what could be near. "It' something for the kids when they get old enough and maybe go out on their own exploring the lake-- that's something you want to teach them to stay away from."

McNabb said always be mindful of your surroundings, especially while gardening or mowing. If you are bitten you have six hours to receive proper treatment.

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