A Birmingham schoolgirl was bitten on the finger by a snake while out on an Easter picnic with her family. The eight-year-old’s hand swelled up after the viper attack and she was rushed to hospital over the bank holiday weekend.
The young woman was injured at Kinver Edge, on the border of Worcestershire, Staffordshire and the Black Country on Saturday 16 April. She needed an intravenous infusion of antivenom serum.
The Kings Heath School pupil, whom BirminghamLive agreed not to name, was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for treatment. Fortunately, she is now fine, but doctors are currently keeping her under observation as a precaution.
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Her father, David Rathbone, told BirminghamLive: “She had been alerted to the presence of the snake by a member of our group and, being a brave little girl, she investigated the striking-looking reptile with her finger. Unusually, the snake did not withdrew but hit her finger.
“He let out a ‘scream,’ at which point I grabbed his hand and sucked hard on the wound at the tip of his index finger. The snake still didn’t back down. The snake also hit my hand, forcing me to whip it out of range.
“He then complained of pain and swelling so we got in my car to Kidderminster hospital when the swelling in his fingers rapidly increased. About 15 minutes later in the minor injury unit his whole hand had started to swell.”
“Staff acted quickly, tying off her hand and forearm. They then made the decision to take us under blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where the serum was stored.”
“They took her to the resuscitation unit. She was in a good mood throughout, being a very brave girl, until she received an intravenous infusion of anti-venom serum, which made her quite sick because it is a strong drug.”
“After a tetanus shot, she was kept under close observation. A second intravenous infusion was given around 1am today.
“Now she feels fine, if not a little sick of missing a planned Easter egg hunt, while being kept under observation in hospital.”
Rathbone added: “This is a very rare event, and the behavior of the snake is quite strange, perhaps brought on by the sudden change in weather to this warm spell. I hope this will alert walkers using similar bracken heaths.”
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