Failure of electric shock treatment for rattlesnake envenomation


That’s patient X, the former US marine who suffered a bite from his pet rattlesnake. Patient X, the man who immediately after the bite insisted that a neighbour attach car spark plug wires to his lip, and that the neighbour rev up the car engine to 3000 rpm, repeatedly, for about five minutes. Patient X, the bloated, blackened, corpse-like individual who subsequently was helicoptered to a hospital, where Dr Richard C Dart and Dr Richard A Gustafson saved his life and took photographs of him. […]

Though rattlesnake bites can be deadly, there is a standard, reliable treatment – injection with a substance called “antivenin”. Patient X preferred an alternative treatment. The medical report explains: “Based on their understanding of an article in an outdoorsman’s magazine, the patient and his neighbour had previously established a plan to use electric shock treatment if either was envenomated.”

{ Guardian | Continue reading }

photo { Jason Nocito }