California teen looking for cell service steps into snake pit, bit 6 times

Published November 13, 2012

| FoxNews.com

A teenager searching for a cellphone signal in a rural area stepped into a nest of rattlesnakes and was bitten six times, Fox5SanDiego.com reported.

Vera Oliphant, 16, was visiting her uncle's home just outside San Diego on Oct. 27, and walked up a hill for a better cellphone signal. She said she heard rattling and ran backward before she stepped into a pit of snakes and was bitten at least six times.

"My body started to go numb," Oliphant, who managed to get back to her uncle's house, said. She was rushed to an emergency room at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and placed in intensive care for four days. CBS8.com reported that she was given 24 doses of antivenom.

Oliphant told U-T San Diego that she had gone into anaphylactic shock twice and lost consciousness four times after the bites.

"I thought I was going to die," she told the paper.

The paper had a report of rattlesnakes in July that highlighted more attacks in San Diego and an increase of the toxicity of the bites. The rattlesnake bite toxicity can vary, but are considered deadly.

"If you’re bit by a snake, the first thing to do is realize that you have more time than you think you do,” Dr. Jordan Cohen said. "Don’t panic." 

He pointed out misconceptions about sucking a wound and tying a tourniquet and said these methods can do more harm than good.

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