A large rattlesnake was killed in the Woodmere subdivision Friday, and residents are urged to be on the lookout for them.
The snake in the photos at right came out of the woods and was on Destrehan and Dulaney streets. He was about 5 feet long.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said that snakes are not aggressive except when defending themselves. Still, people working in areas of dense foliage or gardening should be aware.
Rattlesnake bites are extremely painful. Symptoms include bleeding, breathing difficulty, blurred vision, eyelid drooping, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, numbness, paralysis, rapid pulse, skin color changes, swelling, tingling, tissue damage, thirst, tiredness, weakness and weak pulse.
The right antivenom can save a person's life. Getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible is very important, and if properly and quickly treated, many snake bites will not have serious effects.
First aid tips from MedlinePlus:
1. Keep the person calm. Reassure them that bites can be effectively treated in an emergency room. Restrict movement, and keep the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.
2. If you have a pump suction device (such as that made by Sawyer), follow the manufacturer's directions.
3. Remove any rings or constricting items, because the affected area may swell. Create a loose splint to help restrict movement of the area.
4. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably venomous.
6. Get medical help right away.
7. Bring in the dead snake only if this can be done safely. Do not waste time hunting for the snake, and do not risk another bite if it is not easy to kill the snake. Be careful of the head when transporting it - a snake can actually bite for several hours after it's dead (from a reflex).