It is rattlesnake season in Scripps Ranch! The County of San Diego (Department of Animal Services) has provided a brochure, including how to identify and avoid the snakes.
If someone is bitten by a rattlesnake the general recommendations for first aid in the field are:
- Remain calm and retreat from the snake at least 15 feet. Arrange to have the victim transported to a medical facility as soon as possible.
- Remove restrictive clothing items (rings, bracelets, watches, buttoned shirts, etc.) from the victim.
- Splint or otherwise immobilize any bitten limbs and keep them below heart level. If (and only if) the victim is more than an hour away from a medical facility, place a lightly constricting band (that admits one finger beneath it) above the bitten area to prevent the systemic spread of the venom.
- Keep victims calm; put them at rest; keep them warm and give them comfort and reassurance (which will lower their heart rate, slowing the spread of the venom). Keeping a victim's heart rate down, however, should never interfere with getting him or her to a medical facility.
- If the snake is still present or nearby, try to get an accurate description by using a camera or remembering certain physical traits such as color, pattern, or length. This can help ensure the proper antivenom is administered. However, one should never put oneself at risk of being bitten to obtain this description.
- In no case should tourniquets be used, nor should any incisions or suction be applied to the wound.
- As the weather gets warmer. the snakes will come out. Mating season for some species is Spring so if there is one, there may be another.