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Texting Teen steps into Rattlesnake nest

california can’t get a signal antivenom

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#1 Hum

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:21

A teenage girl searching for a cell phone signal near San Diego stepped into a nest of rattlesnakes and was bitten six times, but survived.

Reuters reported that the girl, Vera Oliphant, 16, of El Cajon received 24 vials of antivenom after she was bitten by an adult rattlesnake and five young rattlers Oct. 27 outside her uncle’s home. She was in the intensive care unit for four days, Reuters said.

“I was trying to find a signal to call my mom and text my boyfriend,” Oliphant said last week after being released from the hospital.

“I didn’t see them until I already stepped on their nest and I felt them biting me,” :| she told Reuters.

“My vision started to go right away. First it looked like the snakes blended into the leaves and then I started seeing black spots around the edges and I started blacking out,” she said.

She returned to her uncle’s home in Jamul, outside San Diego, and he rushed her to the emergency room, she said.

On the way, she talked to her mother and her boyfriend, who told her to stay calm so the venom wouldn’t spread.

“I told my mom and my boyfriend I love them in case I don’t get to see them again,” she said.

Oliphant said the next time she can’t get a signal, she will be more careful.

“Be careful where you step,” she told Reuters. “If you don’t need to, just wait until you are somewhere that you can call people.”

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#2 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:23

Rattlesnakes are not near as dangerous and the media makes them out to be. People get bit all the time and while painful, nothing happens as long as the anti venom is given soon enough. Anywhere rattlesnakes live, anti venom is easy to come by.

#3 Shaun N.

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:24

Walking around in a town/city where there are Rattlesnakes while not paying attention. Well done

#4 Skwerl

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:25

Play her off, Keyboard Cat!

#5 ahhell

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:26

She needs to receive the Darwin, Missed it by that Much award.

#6 OP Hum

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:49

Sorry -- but when you're so focused on a cell phone and texting, that you are stepping into snakes, it's time to give up the damned phone. :s

#7 DocM

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:50

The venom of a poisonous snake is a precious commodity that it takes energy to produce, so a lot of non-hunting bites are warning shots that inject little to no venom. This mostly accounts for a 2.6% rattler mortality rate without antivenin and 0.28% with it.

Still, death isn't the only metric to be considered. Most rattlers have a largely hemotoxic venom that can cause effects leading to limb loss and other nastiness. Definitely non-trivial, and even a small injection can cause allergic reactions.

#8 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:48

The venom of a poisonous snake is a precious commodity that it takes energy to produce, so a lot of non-hunting bites are warning shots that inject little to no venom. This mostly accounts for a 2.6% rattler mortality rate without antivenin and 0.28% with it.

Still, death isn't the only metric to be considered. Most rattlers have a largely hemotoxic venom that can cause effects leading to limb loss and other nastiness. Definitely non-trivial, and even a small injection can cause allergic reactions.

Yea, not trivial but definitely not something that deserves a Darwin award. Go hiking in Oklahoma or Texas and you'll see rattlesnakes everywhere. Stepping somewhere on accident and getting bitten is how it happens almost always. All it takes is a distraction. No way this is Darwin worthy. Darwin awards are for people that do obviously stupid things. Walking around on a cellphone is not an obviously stupid thing.

#9 OP Hum

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 18:50

^ Paying no attention to where you are walking IS a stupid thing.

#10 +warwagon

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 18:53

So is she going to turn into a super hero?

#11 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 19:08

^ Paying no attention to where you are walking IS a stupid thing.

Not enough to be Darwin award worthy. She wasn't walking on a freeway or somewhere like that. Where she was walking was a generally safe place. Stupid, yes but anyone who claims it is Darwin award worthy is saying that they themselves are Darwin award worthy. It's not obviously stupid or am I the only one that doesn't pay attention to 100% of my surroundings 100% of the time? I live in a part of Oklahoma that has rattlesnakes. I am in a city so they are rare but they do exist. Are you suggesting that I should be looking for them 100% of the time and my own backyard isn't safe and I should avoid going out there? That's no way to lead life.

#12 DocM

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 20:16

^ Paying no attention to where you are walking IS a stupid thing.


Even here in Michigan, which has a huge population of black rattlers - the largest concentration in the Midwest. Thankfully they're only a meter or so long and don't inject a very large amount of venom.

#13 shakey

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 20:24

The venom of a poisonous snake is a precious commodity that it takes energy to produce, so a lot of non-hunting bites are warning shots that inject little to no venom. This mostly accounts for a 2.6% rattler mortality rate without antivenin and 0.28% with it.

Still, death isn't the only metric to be considered. Most rattlers have a largely hemotoxic venom that can cause effects leading to limb loss and other nastiness. Definitely non-trivial, and even a small injection can cause allergic reactions.


This. While most bites aren't deadly, they normally lead to horrible tissue scarring, splitting, and sometimes amputation. The venom in a rattler is very nasty.
I'd like to see a picture of how she looked. 6 bites is a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some major deformation in the area that the bites were.

At my storage facility, I kill probably 3 to 4 rattlers a year during summer. Mostly babies. Those worry me the most though, because they lack the control over their venom, and normally will end up injecting everything they have, making their bites worse than an adults. I've almost been bit more times than I can count. They also have stopped rattling their tails due to the increase of hogs in the area and how the noise makes the hogs just end up stomping them to death. They have learned, and now just stay silent and strike when threatened.

#14 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 20:32

This. While most bites aren't deadly, they normally lead to horrible tissue scarring, splitting, and sometimes amputation. The venom in a rattler is very nasty.
I'd like to see a picture of how she looked. 6 bites is a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some major deformation in the area that the bites were.

At my storage facility, I kill probably 3 to 4 rattlers a year during summer. Mostly babies. Those worry me the most though, because they lack the control over their venom, and normally will end up injecting everything they have, making their bites worse than an adults. I've almost been bit more times than I can count. They also have stopped rattling their tails due to the increase of hogs in the area and how the noise makes the hogs just end up stomping them to death. They have learned, and now just stay silent and strike when threatened.

According to some posters here, you are due for a Darwin award.

#15 shakey

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 20:37

According to some posters here, you are due for a Darwin award.


Don't worry, most on here don't know their head from their ass :p