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Posted by W von Papinešu on May 14, 2003 at 21:43:48:
SUN-SENTINEL (Palm Beach, Florida) 13 May 03 Team rushes antivenin to man bitten by coral snake in Loxahatchee (C. Ron Allen)
A 44-year-old man was hospitalized Monday night after he was bitten on his finger by a coral snake, authorities said.
The man, whose name was not released, was in stable condition in Palms West Hospital, west of West Palm Beach, a nursing supervisor said.
"He is fine, very stable, and so is the snake," nursing supervisor Mary Young said. "He is alive and kicking."
Young said hospital employees put the snake in a bottle for the man, who asked to save it.
The snake is "medium size, a pretty little thing with colors," Young said.
Paramedics with Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue's Venom 1, a specially trained rescue squad, drove to Palms West, where they administered the antivenin, said Lt. Ernie Jillson, of Venom 1.
"With the [current] shortage of antivenin, we were activated because we have the antivenin bank here," Jillson said.
The man was bitten before 7:30 p.m. in the 12000 block of 57 Road North in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue officials said.
The circumstances were not known, according to Fire-Rescue.
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department is considered the nation's only fire department-based antivenin bank. The collection of life-saving serums has 16 types covering more than 90 percent of the world's poisonous snakes.
Since the unit was created in 1998, it has received more than 300 calls for help from as far away as Canada and the Caribbean. The program is funded by an annual $35,000 state grant, according to published reports.
Florida is the leading state for coral snake bites, and the Venom 1 unit has assisted with several Palm Beach County cases, about half from coral snakes.