Snake Bite Stats?

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Noah M
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Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 4th, 2014, 1:32 pm

I've been looking for a reputable source that gives snake bite stats (not fatalities, but say emergency room visits, or 911 dispatches, or something like that) for the United States. I found a website that claims North Carolina has the most snake bites of any state (http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests/re ... erhead.htm), but it doesn't cite any sources or provide where and how the data was collected. I also found a news report of somebody being bitten by a rattlesnake in Wal-mart (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05 ... n-wal-mart)

Does anybody have what I am looking for or know where I can find it?

Thanks!

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regalringneck
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by regalringneck » August 4th, 2014, 2:29 pm


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Noah M
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 4th, 2014, 2:36 pm

Yes I have Googled it :P , and Google Scholared it too. I found something from 1966 there. It's for school, so Wikipedia will not work, and I don't want fatalities. The FLMNH didn't have anything and neither did the CDC. I did find shark bite statistics though, but that isn't what I want. If somebody knows of a database of emergency responses I can query that would work too. FYI, this is for an academic endeavor.

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Fieldherper
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Fieldherper » August 4th, 2014, 3:02 pm

The Association of Poison Control Centers is the best source for medical toxicology information. It publishes an annual report listing all of the poisonings/exposures reported to it's centers during the year.

Here is the link: http://www.aapcc.org/data-system/

Go to "Annual Reports" to pick the year you are interested in.

FH

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Noah M
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 4th, 2014, 4:47 pm

Thanks Field Herper. That may come in handy for something else. Right now the annual reports don't seem to offer any geographic data. I wish the annual reports had a state column in the table.

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Berkeley Boone » August 6th, 2014, 4:41 am

Noah-
I ran into this same issue when I was in college, trying to do a report on snake bite statistics. Nothing but dead ends for me too. I even tried directly calling the hospitals around the region (side note here: without fail, each person I spoke with told me to report directly to the ER as soon as I mentioned the words "snake bite". I tried explaining that I did not have a snake bite, I just wanted information on the numbers; but they stopped listening as soon as I said those two words. A couple of hospitals even hung up on me when I tried explaining what I was needing).
Nothing ever came of it for me in that search either. I would be curious to see what you find.
Good luck!
--Berkeley

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by BillMcGighan » August 6th, 2014, 6:02 am

Noah, as usual, my help is quite dated so use it accordingly.
I wouldn’t use much of the info in a modern paper, but the value of the following to me is mostly providing sobering statistics when lecturing to non-herp outdoor activity groups (scouts, hunters, fishing persons, etc.)


A 1980 edition of “Poisonous Snakebites in the United States” by Henry M. Parrish,MD, Dr.P.H., I think is the type of resource you’re looking for.
• Hardcover: 469 pages
• Publisher: Vantage Press; 1st edition (1980)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0533038383
• ISBN-13: 978-0533038381


It’s a culmination of 25 years of research, but, alas, many of the statistical data is from the 1950s and 1960s.
He lists his methodologies, which, in short, were surveys done with all 50 state hospitals, federal hospitals (military) and a random sample of physicians.
He breaks down results by state and in total.
He reports the subgroups of incidence, victim age, geopathology, temporal relationships, site (on person) and severity (using the older gradients of 0-3, and provides a summary of each state.

I would expect that the same survey today would produce a higher number of bites because of human population growth and intrusion to natural areas (and, of course, because of the growth of folks who are keeping hots.) I don't know that percentages of incidents would change.

If you can’t find it in the UF library, I’d be glad to loan you my copy and FEDEX it to you.

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by monklet » August 6th, 2014, 8:09 am

Musta been some serious alcohol/drugs involved in this one.
Wikipedia wrote:Hernandez-Hernandez became the first person to die in the United States from a fatal coral snake bite since 1967. He and Jesus Moreida, both of Bonita Springs, Florida, were bitten by a coral snake they tried to kill.[
:roll:

WTF???
Wikipedia wrote:Guidry, the Putnam County, Florida fire marshall, went to help a neighbor who had spotted a rattlesnake while mowing grass. He shot at the snake; it went under a shed and Guidry was bitten when he reached for it.
:beer:

Same link posted above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fa ... ted_States

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Kelly Mc » August 6th, 2014, 8:25 am

I'm very confused. How do two people get killed killing a coral snake?

Was one person holding the coral from behind while the other guy punches it out?

Confused.

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by monklet » August 6th, 2014, 10:36 am

I'd love to know that the snake survived unharmed! :lol:

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Jimi » August 6th, 2014, 2:06 pm

Not sure this get over the bar of "reputable" - they have a specific interest at stake. But here it is anyway. I noted the missing 2008 New Mexico accident (I was acquainted with the victim) on the Wikipedia site so I looked up this old summary:

http://www.rexano.org/Statistics/venomo ... tality.pdf

Snake envenomation - whatever the outcome - is such a non-issue in the US I believe it's not required to be reported by hospitals etc. It's commonly very hard to find an experienced medical doctor to deal with an accident. So try your best not to have one!

Fieldherper - thanks for the link. I can more clearly see why FDA recently issued the advisory & rule changes for acetaminophen. Analgesics exposure is one of the few growth areas, for fatal intoxications:
Summarizing data from three different surveillance systems, there were an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths related to acetaminophen-associated overdoses per year during the 1990-1998 period
source http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm239821.htm

Over-the-counter painkillers - much more dangerous than venomous snakes, wild or captive, in the USA. About 458 times more lethal, in the 1990's, and getting worse.

cheers,
Jimi

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Noah M
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 7th, 2014, 1:47 pm

Thanks everybody, I'll have to look into this more when I'm back at work.

A bit of background on my needs for it.

I'm putting together my doctoral dissertation proposal and I've narrowed my topic down a bit. Right now its looking something like 100 ways to Die in Florida: Tourist Knowledge and Risk Perception of Florida Hazards. I'll be interviewing tourists in the state about their knowledge, attitudes and whatnot about the many threats and hazards found in our state, and perhaps something in there about climate change. In any case, my advisor has suggested on several occasions I could ask them about alligator bite, snake bite, mosquitoes and diseases, etc in addition to climate and weather related hazards. But, IMO, if I'm going to include these there needs to be some justification. So far I have found literature that suggests Florida is unique in regards to hazards.

1. Florida is affected by more tropical cyclones than any other state
2. Florida has more lightning strikes and lightning fatalities than any other state
3. Florida has more thunderstorms than any other state
4. Florida has the highest average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles than any other state (*note here, depending upon how you compute the calculation, say in terms of absolute numbers or severe tornadoes, Florida is not number one. I suspect we have such a high density because of the number of tornadoes that tropical cyclones produce(most of these are F0 or F1 in category))
5. Florida is home to the highest number of unprovoked shark attacks, accounting for nearly half of those in the US
6. Florida has the highest number of alligator attacks

So to complete my case, I wanted to see where Florida falls in terms of snake bites, jellyfish/man-o-war stings, and perhaps deaths attributed to rip currents or maybe drownings overall. I also will need to look into extreme heat events, but that will come after my short vacation between semesters. Other hazards such as snow storm and volcano do not apply here, and I will be avoiding technical hazards, such as car accident and nuclear power.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeah, the coral snake thing is interesting. I have heard of a case where a woman got bit by one gardening, and I have heard of a case where somebody found what they thought was a DOR, but was actually an IOR, and the injured coral bit the person messing with the snake. I don't remember if these were fatal bites or not.

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umop apisdn
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by umop apisdn » August 8th, 2014, 3:08 pm

As far as I'm aware, your search for snakebite stats is futile thanks to HIPAA privacy laws.

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Berkeley Boone » August 9th, 2014, 7:03 am

umop apisdn wrote:As far as I'm aware, your search for snakebite stats is futile thanks to HIPAA privacy laws.
That shouldn't matter- as long as the patient name is not attached to the information. That is where the privacy laws come in to play.

--Berkeley

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by jonathan » August 10th, 2014, 5:29 am

captainjack0000 wrote:5. Florida is home to the highest number of unprovoked shark attacks, accounting for nearly half of those in the US
Which state has the highest number of provoked shark attacks?


captainjack0000 wrote:So to complete my case, I wanted to see where Florida falls in terms of snake bites, jellyfish/man-o-war stings, and perhaps deaths attributed to rip currents or maybe drownings overall. I also will need to look into extreme heat events, but that will come after my short vacation between semesters. Other hazards such as snow storm and volcano do not apply here, and I will be avoiding technical hazards, such as car accident and nuclear power.
You forgot Burms. :lol:

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by VICtort » August 10th, 2014, 6:03 am

Captain Jack,

I am not sure what limitations your study has, attacks or accidents...?
Consider the frequency of salt water catfish punctures/"stings ".

These fish are quick to take almost any bait, are wide spread and naturally are caught by even the least experienced tourist/beginning anglers. A surprising number of these folks have no knowledge of the spiny threat these catfish possess, the dorsal and pectoral spines which they erect under stress and impale the unwary/ careless/ unlucky...

A practicing Florida physician told me salt water catfish punctures were amongst or the top reason for ER visits.

Good luck on your thesis. See PM to you.

Vic

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Noah M
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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 10th, 2014, 11:24 am

A practicing Florida physician told me salt water catfish punctures were amongst or the top reason for ER visits.
This is interesting. Thanks.
Which state has the highest number of provoked shark attacks?
My wife asked the same thing. I don't really know.
You forgot Burms.
I did not mention in this post, but there is an article I found that talks about coastal hazards and uses southeast Florida as a case study. They do mention burms and other introduced species. So I am aware of them and may include them along with monitor lizards, scorpions, and now saltwater catfish. I'm now thinking bees, wasps and spiders should also be considered. I just need a comprehensive list of the biological and physical stuff in Florida that could mess you up. The list seems to grow with each passing day. Perhaps I may actually get to a 100....

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 26th, 2014, 7:46 am

Jimi wrote:Not sure this get over the bar of "reputable" - they have a specific interest at stake. But here it is anyway. I noted the missing 2008 New Mexico accident (I was acquainted with the victim) on the Wikipedia site so I looked up this old summary:

http://www.rexano.org/Statistics/venomo ... tality.pdf


Jimi
Thanks! This did not quite meet my standards, but where they got their data, the CDC WONDER database did help me. If there are 9 or fewer deaths reported it wouldn't release any results, but if I look at all deaths caused by venomous/poisonous plants and animals, Florida ranks 5th (for years 1999-2011) by total numbers.

Here are the results

1. Texas - 132 deaths
2. California - 66 deaths
3. North Carolina - 63 deaths
4. Tennessee - 59 deaths
5. Florida - 52 deaths

TX, CA, and FL may be near the top because of their large populations. If you adjust for this, looking at deaths/population, the top five become

1. West Virginia - 26
2. Tennessee - 59
3. Arkansas - 24
4. Mississippi - 21
5. North Carolina - 63

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Fieldherper » August 26th, 2014, 12:30 pm

If one is counting all venomous animals/poisonous plants, then snakebites are probably a relatively small portion of those numbers. More people die of allergic reactions to fire/ant/bee/wasp stings than from snakebite in the US annually. Typically, 5 or fewer snakebite deaths occur in the entire US each year. These are almost always rattlesnake, rarely cottonmouths, VERY rarely corals or copperheads. Roughly 8,000 venomous snakebites occur in the US each year. The %mortality for snakebite is lower than for many other illnesses.

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Jimi » August 26th, 2014, 3:25 pm

Roughly 8,000 venomous snakebites occur in the US each year.
My interpretation is that these are exactly the numbers the OP is curious about. For years and years we've seen annual stats like "7K" or "10K" or "8K" for bites, and "10", "12", "5" for deaths. But the reality is, both numbers are pretty much wild-ass guesses because there's no compulsion to report these accidents (what a colossal waste of effort that would be - it's so rare as to be statistically nonexistent).

There are multiple places to look for such accident data. Some of the specific accidents are reported in one place, some in several places, and - the kicker - surely some go completely unreported. I think mostly what we see are "minimum known to have happened" plus some fudge factor. I say that because of the very round numbers involved...

For people with a wildlife science education, this type of problem sounds very, very familiar. "How do you count the ones that you didn't see?" I have heard of attempts with other such datasets, to use mark-recapture estimators to develop "abundance estimates" for the parameter of interest (actual # of accidents or deaths) from a series of samples (the various reporting entities). Each "detection" (each accident) needs to be uniquely, accurately identifiable (with one or more data fields like the victim's name, age, location, date, etc). This data-prep is just the same as has to be done to create the "minimum known to have happened" stat.

One nice thing about this formal-estimator approach is you can develop confidence intervals, with a point estimate somewhere in the middle. So maybe the real number is very likely to be between 3,054 and 12,101 and the point estimate might be something like 7248. I dunno if that's much better than "7K", "8K", or "10K". I find it more satisfying.

Cheers,
Jimi

PS Fieldherper, the Rexano stats (captive snakes ONLY) include deaths - minimum known, without an added fudge factor - from non-native bites too (exotics). That's a fair slice of their stats, which you can slice in several ways - including by "user type", which includes "pet keepers" as well as "religious basis" and of course "zoo or other institutional collection managers". Of pet & institutional keepers, a number of the bad (fatal...) bites were due to things like cobras and gaboons. The religious guys were, I think, all killed by natives.

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Re: Snake Bite Stats?

Post by Noah M » August 26th, 2014, 4:42 pm

More people die of allergic reactions to fire/ant/bee/wasp stings than from snakebite in the US annually
Yes, the CDC WONDER database has this listed as well (2011 saw 71 deaths as a result of "contact with hornets, wasps and bees"), along with some very strange ones. A few that caught my attention were cause of death, "Foreign body or object entering through skin" (4 deaths in 2011) . The other one that caught my attention was "bitten or crushed by other reptiles", which from 1999-2011, inclusive, saw 78 deaths.

Oh the rabbit holes research will take you down!

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