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Girl May Lose Arm After Snakebite

Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:59 am

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - A 14-year-old girl may lose her arm after being bitten by a poisonous copperhead snake at school, authorities said.


The snake was caught in Valley Forge by a 17-year-old male student, who took it in a shoebox to a drama club gathering at St. Pius X High School on Friday, Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Ray Bechtel said. No regular classes were held that day, which was designated for staff development.

The boy was showing the reptile to other students when it bit the girl's finger, Bechtel said.

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Hmmm... I don't know what to think of this, but I think the boy should pay for ALL medical expenses... either him or his parents, as he is responsible for what happened.
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RE: Girl May Lose Arm After Snakebite

Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:15 am

I actually agree here.. The boy (and parents) is responsible..

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RE: Girl May Lose Arm After Snakebite

Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:43 pm

I agree that the boy is an ass and should be held responsible for all bills but would be very surprised if she loses the arm.

Generally speaking, Copperhead venom is the least potent of our native species and it is very rare for a person to die as a result of a copperhead bite. However, like Rattlesnakes and Cottonmouths, the hemotoxins in their venom can destroy tissue and in extreme cases cause loss of limb. Typically this would occur with a large snake and with delayed treatment.

The story does not specify the size of the snake but it couldn't be too large if he was able to get it in a shoebox without getting bit. I think putting everything together, I'd be surprised to see her lose anything unless there were some unusual complications. Losing a finger would be much more realistic than an arm but it doesn't make as good of a story.

btw, this guy should have learned a bit about reptile physiology from this. Given the weather, the snake was probably moving very slow when he captured it but the metabolism would speed up as it warmed inside the school building as they found out the hard way.

Moral of the story, don't screw around with venomous snakes. Let them be so they can do their job and kill the mice and rats that are harmful to us; given the chance, they'll leave you alone every time.
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