The irony of the situation did not escape Chris Laing – who hails from a land in Australia where there are many deadly creatures – who was hospitalized after being bitten by a venomous snake while visiting family in the West Country.
The 37-year-old told Cornwall Live his friends and family in Australia found the news “exciting – and hilarious”, considering Oz has more than a dozen venomous snakes, as well as killer jellyfish, deadly spiders, hungry crocodiles. , scary sharks, venomous fish, England only has the Vipera berus commonly known as the adder. And he was bitten by a snake while walking in St Just, Cornwall.
Chris, who runs the Smart Cities program in Melbourne said: “I grew up in St Just but moved to Australia after college and snakes are a big thing there. You are taught what to watch out for because snakes can be deadly.
“I took some time off and came back to St Just in July for a holiday and to visit my sister who had just given birth. By chance a friend of mine from Australia was visiting England and I suggested she come to St Just and we could walk a bit on the coastal strip.”
With 320 Park Runs in his past, as well as a wealth of experience hiking in the outback, as well as around Europe and England, as well as a number of commendable half-marathons, a walk along the South West Coast Path on Thursday is expected to be easygoing.
Chris said he was swimming at the beach and that afternoon he and his friend Bianca De Vito were walking towards Land’s End. However, events take an unexpected turn after they walk along the trails in Porth Nanven, Cot Valley.
Chris revealed: “I’ve done a lot of bushwalking and you learn to watch where you walk. There was no sign of a snake ahead, but the path was narrow. Then something came over the right side of my vision and it felt like a thorn or a sting. bee on my ankle. I looked down and there was a three to three and a half foot long snake stuck to me. Normally snakes bite and release quickly, but I think the venom got stuck in my elastic nylon socks and wouldn’t let go – so maybe I got some internal venom quite a large dose.
“I kicked it and it was thrown onto the path. I was shocked. It started coming back towards me so I thought maybe it had a nest nearby and was protecting it.
“We tried to call for help via cellphone, but there was no signal. Luckily, my friend Bianca connected and snapped the snake right away – the kind of thing you would do in Australia because there are so many different types of snakes. kind of venomous snake there and it helps medics know which antivenom to use.”
Chris and Bianca headed back down the path to a path where they could hail a passing spear fisher who was on his way home. However, Chris believes the extra power causes more problems because it pumps poison through his body more quickly.
She said: “I think by not staying still, and walking further down the road, the poison got worse. I could feel tingling from my ankles, to my feet, to my buttocks, and then it started to go numb. The driver fell off.” I was at St Just and I called 111 and they told me to go to the hospital immediately.”
Chris heads to the Treliske hospital but arrives at the main entrance, not the A&E entrance. The last trip from there to the emergency department drained the last of his strength and he passed out when he got to the emergency department.
He said: “That last trip must have pumped the venom out and when I got to the emergency room I just passed out. I thought I was unconscious and I woke up in resuscitation. My blood pressure had dropped that low. The staff thought it was enough.” Serious. They monitored my heart, connected me to an EKG and kept me under observation for less than 20 minutes during the first 24 hours. They’re very good.”
Chris said he was only given anti-venom medication 24 hours later, when his ankles and lower legs were already swollen. He said he was later told this was probably because the antivenom was not in the hospital on his arrival and had been brought in from another location in Cornwall.
In the end, Chris needed to be given two doses of antivenom to counteract the effects of the bite. Regardless, he praised the staff at Treliske Hospital for his recovery, and on day four he was finally discharged.
Chris said he wanted to thank his girlfriend, Dani Atherton, who drove him the hour-long trip to the Royal Cornwall Hospital and all the staff there who he said were “absolutely amazing and provided first class care”.
Of her encounters, she said she wants to give people advice regarding snakebites, based on her own experience: “Bring a cell phone, take a photo of the snake if it’s safe to do so, get medical help as soon as possible.”
He said his uncle in Australia had reminded him of advice he had previously given about walking in the ‘bush’.
Chris said: “My family there found it interesting and funny. My uncle reminded me of the bush walking rule – the first person walking wakes the snake, the second disturbs it, and the third person gets bitten, so it’s always one or two.
“When I told him what happened he replied: ‘I forgot to tell you – that rule doesn’t apply to British snakes!'”
Here’s the NHS advice:
What to do while you are waiting for help
If you’ve been bitten by a snake, there are several things you can do while waiting for medical help.
keep calm – the majority of snakebites in the UK are not serious and can be treated
keep the bitten body part still
lie down in the recovery position if you can
take paracetamol for pain
try to remember the color and pattern of the snake and tell the doctor
remove any jewelery and loosen clothing near the bite, in case the skin swells
do not approach the snake, or try to catch or kill it
do not try to suck or cut the poison (can) from the bite
do not tie anything tightly to the part of the body affected by the bite
do not take aspirin or ibuprofen, they can make bleeding worse
What happened in the hospital
Usually you need to be hospitalized for at least 24 hours if you are bitten by a snake.
The bite will be cleaned and bandaged. You may be given an injection to help protect you from tetanus.
If you are bitten by a venomous (venomous) snake, you will be treated with medication to counteract the venom. This is given through a thin tube into a vein, which is called an infusion.
English type of snake
Only 3 types of snakes are found in the wild in the UK.
The adder is the only venomous (venomous) snake, but all snake bites should be checked as soon as possible.
Telling your doctor about the color and pattern of the snake you bit can help them treat it.
* Adders are gray or reddish brown, with a dark, zigzag stripe down their back.
* Grass snakes are usually green, with black spots on the sides of their bodies, and yellow and black stripes around their necks.
* Smooth snakes are usually gray or brown with dark markings. The pattern on the back is lighter and less zig-zag than the pattern on the back.
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