A man from Texas received a potentially fatal dose of venom after being bitten by the head of a rattlesnake - even though he'd just decapitated it.
But as the man, whose name was not given, picked up the snake to get rid of it, the head bit him and released an nearly fatal amount of venom. "He had to rip it off".
And though there are about 7-8,000 snake bites from venomous snakes in the USA each year, only about 10-12 of them, on average, result in fatalities, says trauma surgeon Michael Halpert. Jennifer said she was pulling weeds in her garden when she came across a four-foot western diamondback rattlesnake hiding in the flowers.
The doctors gave him the needed 26 doses of antivenom, whereas a normal patient gets two to four doses.
In fact, there have been previous [to 2014] reports, including in the USA, of people being bitten by the severed heads of snakes.
Halpert said in the event you get bitten by a snake, you should keep calm, keep the bitten area above heart level and get to the nearest emergency room.
If you thought cutting the head off a venomous snake made them safe to handle, think again.
South Texas' KIII-TV reported the victim's wife said that the snake discharged "all its venom". The venom took effect fast as the man started having seizures, lost his vision and even experienced internal bleeding. Dr. Michael Halpert, a trauma surgeon at Christus Spohn Shoreline Hospital, said although dying from a snakebite is rare, it happens. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he underwent 26 doses of antivenom.
He beheaded it with a shovel, but he soon found out how unsafe a dead snake can be. "They get real snappy in the throes of death".
More than a week after the incident, the man is reportedly in stable condition, with some weakened kidney function, reports said.
"It's a common thing for people to grab a shovel and cut off their heads or whatever", she said.