10-year-old boy saved after wild snake bites him in Kibbutz classroom

Viper snake was likely hiding from rain when it bit child, who was rushed to hospital and is in stable condition after treatment.

May 8, 2014 17:46
1 minute read.
Boy looking at large snake

Boy looking at snake 521. (photo credit: Reuters)


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A poisonous snake that hid from the sudden rain in a classroom near Hadera bit a 10-year-old boy, who was rushed to Hillel Jaffe Medical Center on Thursday.

The boy, Maori Ratzon, was the victim of a Vipera palaestinae.

Snakes sleep during the winter, and when they wake up in the spring, it is usually dry and their salivary glands are full of toxin. Surprised by the unusual weather, the young snake reached Kibbutz Givat Haim (Me’uhad) and hid under a cabinet in one classroom. It came out and bit the boy while the pupils were preparing a surprise party for their teacher.

An ambulance was called, and medics took Ratzon to the hospital; the school’s staff caught the snake and brought it to the hospital so it could be identified. Dr. Or Krieger, who was the first to examine him, said the boy’s hand was very swollen. It spread so fast that the doctors thought it would spread to other bodily systems. He was given the suitable antidote, which greatly improved his situation.

Dr. Adi Klein, head of the hospital’s pediatric department, said that even though the snake was small and young, that did not mean it produced only a small amount of venom; young snakes’ venom may be even more active and dangerous than that of larger, older snakes, she said.

The main symptoms of a snake bite are swelling, stomach ache, fever, reduced blood pressure and instability.

Klein said it was not necessary to bring the snake to the emergency room, as the vast majority of snakebites are from vipers, and the antidote available in hospitals is appropriate.

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