MIAMI (CBS4) – A teen was airlifted from Stuart in Martin County to Miami Children’s Hospital after he was bitten Wednesday afternoon by an eastern diamondback rattle snake.
Andrew Potts, 14, is currently listed as being in serious condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“I’m definitely worried, I’m trying to stay as calm as I can,” said Pott’s mother Almeda Laster. “He’s talking he’s up, in and out, sleeping a lot during the day but he’s coming around.”
Al Cruz, the program director of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Unit, said they received a call about the 14-year old boy around midnight and rushed antivenin to the hospital. As of Thursday morning Cruz said the boy had been given more than a dozen units of antivenin and the next 12 hours would be crucial in his recovery.
“He was bitten by one fang in the leg but he had all the symptoms associated with being bitten by an eastern diamond back rattle snake, you have extreme pain, swelling, discoloration, tissue destruction and potentially blood disorders,” said Cruz.
Laster said her son was playing outside their complex when he was bitten.
“We are close to a preserve and wooded area. I am aware of the fact that there are some (snakes) over there, I just didn’t realize they came quite as close as they did,” said Laster.
“It’s a serious situation especially with such a large snake and such a toxic and dangerous snake,” said Cruz.
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the deadliest snake in the U.S. Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage.
The county’s Venom Response Team maintains the largest, and only, anti-venom bank for public use in the United States.