• What to do if you’re bitten by a snake

    More than two dozen species of snakes make their home in California. Several of the snakes you might see in the San Jose area are venomous, including the Western diamondback rattlesnake and Mojave Desert sidewinder. A bite from a snake that might be venomous is a serious problem that requires emergency care. In San Jose, the emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital is fully equipped to handle all medical emergencies, including snake bites .

    Remain calm

    As frightening as a snake bite can be, it’s important to stay calm. After getting away from the snake, remain as still as possible. Excessive movement can encourage the spread of venom through your body .

    Take a picture of the snake

    When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear from an emergency care physician at Good Samaritan Hospital. He explains that it’s a good idea to take a picture of the snake, but warns against putting yourself in further danger. If you can’t safely take a picture, skip this step and instead try to remember what the snake looks like.

    Seek emergency care

    If you aren’t sure whether the snake is venomous, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek emergency care. Call 911 instead of trying to drive to the hospital. Snake venom can compromise your ability to drive safely, such as by causing the following symptoms:

    • Dizziness

    • Vision disturbances

    • Numbness

    • Vomiting

    • Breathing problems

    Initiate first aid for the snake bite

    While you’re waiting for the ambulance, you can sit or lie down. However, it’s important to keep the bitten body part below the level of your heart. If you have a clean, dry cloth or bandage, you can cover the bite.

    Know what not to do after a snake bite

    Knowing what not to do for a snake bite is just as important as knowing what to do. Do not do any of the following:

    • Don’t apply a tourniquet

    • Don’t suck out the venom

    • Don’t apply ice

    • Don’t soak the wound in water

    • Don’t consume alcohol or caffeinated beverages

    If you have any doubts about what you should or shouldn’t do, the 911 dispatcher can help you.

  • Spotlight on Dog Walking Injuries and How to Avoid Them

    Walking your dog is great for your cardiovascular health, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and is fun for both you and your pooch. However, walking your dog can also end in a trip to the ER if you fall victim to any of a number of common dog walking injuries. Here is a look on some of the common ways people get injured when walking their dogs and what you can do to reduce your risk of needing emergency care .

    Common Dog Walking Injuries
    Many dog walking injuries are caused by the leash. Retractable leashes are particularly problematic. The cord portion of these leashes moves very fast and can cause cuts and even finger amputations. People often experience friction burns from the cords as well. For any kind of leash, the risk of getting tangled in the leash and falling is also high and can cause falls that lead to orthopedic injuries. Dogs who pull on the leash can also drag walkers down, causing lacerations, facial injuries, and broken bones. Tendon and ligament strains and tears, sprains, and shoulder dislocations are all possible when you walk your dog as well.

    Ways to Reduce the Risk of Injury
    You can dramatically reduce the chances of suffering from an injury and needing emergency care on a dog walk with a few simple steps. First, walk with your dog, rather than riding on a bike, skateboard, or rollerblades while holding the leash. Always go out in sturdy shoes that are appropriate for the terrain and the weather. Don’t wrap the leash around your hand multiple times, which could lead to a spiral fracture if your dog pulls too hard. Pass on retractable leashes and instead walk you dog on a shorter leash that gives you more control and is less likely to make you trip. These strategies will ensure that walking your dog is healthy for you and your pet , instead of dangerous.

    If an injury does occur, you can get emergency care in San Jose any time of the day or night at Good Samaritan Hospital. You can learn more about our hospital services or request a referral to a specialist by calling (888) 724-2362.