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article imageCalifornia teen steps into rattlesnake nest, survives six bites

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 12, 2012 in Health
San Diego - A teenager in California accidentally stepped into a rattlesnake nest and was bitten six times. She was immediately brought to the hospital and treated. It was a serious situation, but she survived.
According to local media reports, 16-year-old Vera Oliphant left her uncle's house to look for a cellphone signal to call her mother. The area she was in was a rural one outside of San Diego, so she walked up a hill as she had difficulty finding a connection outside the home.
While searching, she inadvertently stepped into a rattlesnake nest and immediately was bitten. There was one adult snake and four babies, she said.
"I didn't see them until I already stepped on their nest and I felt them biting me," Oliphant said, reported Reuters. "My vision started to go right away. First it looked like the snakes blended into the leaves and then I started seeing black spots around the edges and I started blacking out."
She returned to her uncle's house and he rushed her to the emergency room and doctors gave her 24 vials of antivenom.
"I thought I was going to die," she told the media.
Oliphant spent four days in ICU at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and will be returning to school.
"Be careful where you step," she said, according to Reuters. "If you don't need to, just wait until you are somewhere that you can call people."
At this time last year, a California high school had temporarily been closed after a rattlesnake infestation was discovered.
According to the California Dept. of Fish and Game, the state's Poison Control Center said that over 800 bites per year that occur in the state are rattlesnake bites.
"Most bites occur between the months of April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors. About 25 percent of the bites are “dry,” meaning no venom was injected, but the bites still require medical treatment," said California Poison Control Center.
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