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If you're bitten by a rattlesnake, here's what to do (and not do)

The snakes are out and about as the temperatures begin to rise. Here's what to do if you're ever bit by one.

PHOENIX — As we approach spring in the Valley, rattlesnake sightings will be on the rise.

From the front yard to the hiking trail, it will be important to keep an eye for these critters to avoid dangerous encounters.

But what happens if you get bitten by a rattlesnake?

Team 12's Monica Garcia recently spoke to Dan Marchand, curator of the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary.

Marchand said if you come across a snake, try and stay as far away from it as possible.

RELATED: New anti-venom saves Phoenix man after rattlesnake bite

But if you happened to get bit, Marchand offers these do's and don'ts.


  • Keep the bitten area still.
  • Remove any jewelry near the affected area in case of swelling.
  • Elevate the wound area.
  • Call 911 and stay calm.


  • Drive yourself to the hospital.
  • Use ice to cool the bite.
  • Cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom.
  • Use a tourniquet. This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.

So as we get into the warmer days across Phoenix, it's important to continue to be aware of your surroundings. 

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