A Coolidge man remained hospitalized Friday after surviving a rattlesnake bite to the face while trying to show off to friends at a party by attempting to cook the reptile on the barbecue.
Victor Pratt 48, has been at Banner-University Medical Center in Phoenix since Sept. 7.
While celebrating his child’s birthday with friends, Pratt said he decided to show them how to catch and cook a rattlesnake after one of the reptiles showed up in his yard during the party.
Pratt, who spoke to The Arizona Republic on Friday, grabbed the venomous snake and was showing it off to friends and family, posing for several photos. But he lost his grip on the snake’s head, and it attacked him.
After being bit twice, once on the chest and once on the face, Pratt said he knew immediately that something was wrong, having been bitten once before when he was 19.
“I said, ‘We gotta go now,’ because I knew what was going to happen,” Pratt said.
He was taken immediately to a local hospital, which doctors said saved his life. He also has been undergoing treatment with doses of antivenom.
“If an airway is not established in the first few minutes, in our experience less than 15 to 30 minutes, then those patients really don’t have a chance to survive,” said Dr. Steven Curry, Banner hospital’s toxicology director.
Curry said getting a tube inserted into the patient’s airway is vital, especially in face bites.
“If they can get their airway…
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