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Posted by desiree on September 12, 2002 at 10:56:49:
KESQ-3 (Palm Springs, California) 11 September 02
Local snake bite expert helps save lives and limbs
Some would say they're among the desert's least popular natives. Most people shiver at the thought of even touching one. But one local doctor's fascination with snakes has helped saved lives and limbs.
It started out as a normal day in the garden for Casey Groenandal until he reached down under this plant. He was hit hard by a rattlesnake, so hard that his finger and arm swelled up.
Groenandal seek help from Dr. Sean Bush. Dr. Bush has treated hundreds of snake bites. He has 20 snakes at home and reads all about the reptiles.
"Everyone has a fear or fascination with snakes," said Bush, snake bite expert.
Dr. Bush's fascination started when he was five years old, with his first pet snake. And now, it's his hobby and his life's work.
"I love emergency medicine because you can make interventions in people's lives and you can help them very quickly," said Bush. "It's amazing that a snake can cause your whole body to shut down."
Even if most snakes in our desert aren't that dangerous, you still need to be careful. The doctor said Southern California has one of the highest population of snakes, meaning if you're out hiking in the desert, chances are pretty good you could run into one.
Dr. Bush said that if you get bitten by a snake, make sure you go to the ER and do not try to treat your injury at home.
Groenandal thought he was going to lose his finger, but the Dr. Bush's treatment has helped him keep it.
"I think he's the only one who knows what's going on, as far as a snake bite's concerned," said Groenandal.
Dr. Bush said that's the most rewarding part of his job, taking the bite out of unexpected run-ins with these reptiles.