Texas man bitten by severed rattlesnake head

A man who had just decapitated a rattlesnake in his back garden nearly died when he went to retrieve the head 15 minutes later and was bitten and infected with a huge dose of venom. And because the snake's head was no longer connected to a body when it bit him, she told KIII-TV that it discharged the full load of its venom all at once.

The doctors gave him the needed 26 doses of antivenom, whereas a normal patient gets two to four doses.

Because the head was severed from the body, the reptile is believed to have released an extremely large amount of deadly venom into her husband's hand. "He had to have 26 doses".

Sutcliffe called 911 and began driving her husband to the hospital. "He had to rip the snake's head off", Jennifer said".

The man immediately began having seizures, internal bleeding and vision loss.

He was eventually airlifted to Christus Spohn Shoreline Hospital, Jennifer said.

Unlike a tiger, for instance, which kills prey by sinking its teeth into an animal's flesh and holding on, snakes aim to deliver just one, extremely quick bite and then move away from their prey before getting trampled.

The key to surviving a snakebite, says Halpert, is to get medical help immediately if not sooner; nearly all victims of fatal snakebites in recent years died, at least in part, because they either refused medical treatment or didn't get it soon enough.

The kidney function of the man was severely affected by the snake bite due to the shock.

"It's a common thing for people to grab a shovel and cut off their heads or whatever", she said.

With six rattlesnake species native to Texas, not to mention all the state's copperheads, this may serve as an important cautionary tale for other homeowners who may be faced with a venomous snake on their property.

  • Rogelio Becker