Shingle Springs Terri Kalem Bit by Rattlesnake During Yard Work
Lonni Rivera, News 10 , June 13, 2012ER doctors prep for more snake bite victims this summer after a mild winter means more snakes survived their hibernation.
A Shingle Springs woman had her first snake encounter in place where she always felt safe.
"Clipped it, it fell, I felt a nick, I thought I felt a nick by that weed, I looked back and saw a perfect coil," Terri Kalem said.
Kalem returned to her backyard feeling somewhat nervous. A Northern Pacific rattle snake was hiding under some high weeds that she was trimming when it bit her middle finger.
"I ran in the house shaking, calling the hospital," Kalem said.
She made it to Marshall Hospital as her finger and hand quickly began to swell. It took 16 vials of antivenin treatment to save her.
"It was swelling and tingling, face tingling," Kalem said.
"I think we are gonna have a more active season treating snake bites," Emergency Physician Dr. Rudd Gwinup said.
Gwinup, a surgeon and several nurses treated Kalem that day. She spent two days in ICU before being released.
It unnerved her knowing she never found the snake that bit her. So, she hired Ramirez Removal to look for it by removing rocks and clutter in her yard.
"Clutter is what I tell people is the killer, people need to make certain to get rid of clutter," Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal owner Bruce Ramirez said.
When she was bitten, Kalem said she never heard the rattle sound. Although nearby traffic might have muffled the sound.
"I want to be the master of this snake, I can't believe how much damage they do, and they're so little," Kalem said. "I'm a young senior, if this can happen to me, a child can be playing out there."
Fortunately, Kalem has insurance. Each vial cost $2,000 each, which equaled to$32,000.
Rattlesnake awareness and protection tips include: ...