In response to the suggestion of Dr. Prentiss Willson,1 that physicians should report cases of poisoning by copperhead snakes, I will report three cases. The mountains of West Virginia are full of copperhead snakes, and bites by them are frequent, many of which are treated by domestic remedies without calling a physician. The fact that patients generally recover indicates that the wounds are not serious.
To be efficacious, the prophylactic treatment of a snake bite must be immediate. The first thing to do is to grasp the limb on the proximal side, close to the wound and substitute constriction by a handkerchief or cord for the pressure of the fingers as soon as possible. Rapid and shallow stabs with a sharp-pointed penknife should then be made in and about the wound and strong suction applied by the mouth. This method involves the risk of sepsis, not only from the
Davis GR. BITES FROM COPPERHEAD SNAKES. JAMA. 1910;55(17):1463. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330170043015