PHOENIX (KSAZ) - For the past few weeks, the weather has been unseasonably warm. That means more and more rattlesnakes are coming out early. One man here for Spring Training has already had a pretty painful encounter with a rattlesnake.
Doctors say the California man is lucky to be alive, because not only did the snake bite the patient, but he also passed out and hit his head.
Ralph Shelton's blood pressure dropped dangerously low after the bite, which only happens in 1-2% of the cases. He was rushed from his RV in El Mirage to Banner University Medical Center where he was treated with anti-venin.
Now he's recovering and opening up about his near-death experience. He said he was checking out a strange sound under his RV, he reached under, and that is when the rattlesnake bit him in the arm. He quickly called 9-1-1 before doctors say he passed out.
Shelton is expected to recover fully within a month. So far this year Banner Poison Control and Information Center had four calls of rattlesnake bites. They handle more calls about the bites than any other organization in the state.
Doctors say if you are bitten, do not try to self-treat the injury. Get to a hospital right away.