Rattlesnake season; man recovering after baby rattler attacks

As temperatures warm up, snakes come out of hibernation to enjoy some desert sunshine. 

But many visitors to the valley do not realize, you've always got to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes.

A Michigan man is recovering in the hospital after learning that lesson the hard way; he was bitten by a baby rattlesnake.

Ken Crandall is from Michigan, he and his wife visit Arizona every winter, but while he was walking their dogs near Salome, Ariz. he was attacked.

"I thought it was a scorpion, my dog walked by it, I felt a sharp pain in my foot, I turned around with the flashlight and it was just a small rattlesnake," said Ken Crandall.

"It started gradually swelling up, and the more it swelled I started breaking out in a sweat, and it just kept getting bigger, it was really painful," said Crandall.

Ken was rushed to a medical clinic in Salome and then flown to the Valley for treatment. His wife was frantic about the venom.

"She got pretty excited, it still didn't hit me, it just stung for a minute until it started swelling up," he said.

Ken is now recuperating with antivenin treatment. The doctors at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital say they receive a lot of rattlesnake bite calls this time of year. The best thing to do, when there is an attack, is to call 9-1-1.

"All the things they tell you in television, or the movies are wrong. They tell you to suck on the wound, that's been disproven. They tell you to cut it out, that's also been disproven. And a tourniquet, all those things have been disproven," said Dr. Frank Lovecchio, a physician with Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.

"I'm from Michigan, so I don't know all about it, we have some rattlesnakes there, but I've never seen any or heard of anyone getting bit," said Crandall.

Ken says he will be more careful about where he steps, and the kind of outdoor shoes he wears.

"Now I'm a little more aware to not wear sandals," he said.

Doctors say after calling 9-1-1 there is one thing that you can do if there is an attack, keep the area that was bitten elevated until medical help arrives.
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