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Pennsylvania Camper Dies After Being Bitten by Rattlesnake

PA Herps

Camper in Pennsylvania dies after being bit by a rattlesnake while sitting near campfire.

Late Saturday, July 18, 2015 a man from Pennsylvania died after receiving a fatal bite from a rattlesnake at his campsite in Medix Run in Elk County.

Russell Davis, 39, was enjoying a camping trip with his girlfriend when he was bitten by the rattlesnake. He was gathering wood to put on their fire around midnight when he came bolting into the campsite yelling he needed to go to the hospital, according to a report by Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers.

His girlfriend quickly called 911 before getting him in their vehicle. While on the way to meet the ambulance Davis began having severe respiratory problems.

EMT personnel gave him CPR as they rushed him to Penn Highlands Hospital in St. Mary’s to meet a helicopter to transport him to a hospital in Pittsburgh.

The paramedics on board administered anti-venom during the helicopter ride, but Davis soon went into extreme cardiac arrest.

He was pronounced dead after landing at 5:23 a.m. before any further treatment could be administered.

Pennsylvania does have a small population of timber rattlesnakes, but encounters with them are extremely rare. Davis was the first death from a snakebite in over 25 years.

The Pittsburgh Poison Control Center has had 19 calls for poisonous snake bites this year, most of which have been by copperheads.

While most snakebites are not lethal, experts suggest that you wear long pants, thick boots, and watch where you step and sit when in rattlesnake country.

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Pennsylvania Camper Dies After Being Bitten by Rattlesnake