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To the Editor:—
Russell et al are recognized authorities on snakebite who are prejudiced against cryotherapy, which they have not used. Dr. Frederick A. Shannon met tragic death recently from rattlesnake bite, and their 112 cases without a death are now grimly 113, and one death.The statement, "we are inclined to agree with McCollough and Gennaro that cryotherapy is 'valueless' and that 'the combination in some instances of refrigeration and venom would seem to have contributed more to the necessity of amputation than with venom alone,'" reveals their bias and does not stand up to scientific criticism. The article quoted indicates that cryotherapy as set forth in my article (FRESHwater ice packed directly against the skin extending a foot above the bite applied early before swelling has obstructed circulation and maintained for six days continuously while the patient's body is kept warm with an electric blanket) was not used.
Lockhart WE. Snakebite. JAMA. 1966;195(7):597. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100070140059