Video: 12-Year-Old Survives Snake Bite
Envision’s Dr. Spencer Greene, one of the leading toxicology physicians in the country, treated 12-year-old snake-bite patient Allison DeBow.
As the weather warms up in the spring, it’s a time for kids to get outside and be active. It’s also when snakes are most active, which is something 12-year-old Allison DeBow knows all too well.
“I was walking, and I felt something prick me really quickly on my foot,” Allison said.
On May 10, she looked down and saw two marks on her foot and a venomous Copperhead snake. Her foot swelled immediately, making it difficult for her to walk. With the help of her brother, best friend and mom, she was able to receive medical attention.
Luckily for Allison, Envision’s Dr. Spencer Greene one of the leading toxicology physicians in the country, treated her upon her arrival at HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood in Texas.
“Most bites happen when you don’t see the snake,” Dr. Greene said. “She came in and had swelling and bruising, and it was obvious that it was a pit viper bite.”
Dr. Greene always tells his patients they don’t need to know the exact type of snake to treat its bite — it’s more important to observe the symptoms. Pit vipers are a classification of snakes, including Copperheads, Cottonmouths and Rattlesnakes, that cause swelling and bruising when they bite. Coral snakes, which are the only other classification of snakes in the U.S., do not produce that type of reaction.
Dr. Greene treated Allison with one of the two Federal Drug Administration-approved anti-venoms. She received the standard dose of 10 vials, and her labs improved spontaneously. Allison stayed overnight for observation and was discharged the next day, staying in touch with Dr. Greene as she recovered.
“I didn’t like snakes before, and I really don’t like snakes anymore,” Allison said.