Snakes on the Plains

Media Resources

Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329


         It’s only mid-summer, but The University of Kansas Health System is on pace to treat a record number of people for snake bites this year. So far, 45 patients have been treated at the hospital’s Snake Bite Center for a venomous snake bite…after treating the same number in all of last year. The snake bite season usually goes from April through September. The mild winter in the Midwest and the hot summer have been the perfect combination for a bigger and more active snake population. The CDC estimates that as many as 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year. Such bites are rarely fatal. They kill about five people annually. But snake venom can cause serious harm.

Dr. Stephen Thornton, medical director of the Poison Control Center, says it's important for people who have been bitten by a snake to seek immediate help at a designated snake bite center, such as The University of Kansas Health System.

            In the video, Dr. Thornton talks about the most common types of venomous snakes in the Midwest, how to tell a venomous from a non-venomous snake, how the anti-venom works, why not all hospitals can keep it on hand, the do's and dont's of what to do if you're bitten (hint: you don’t need to kill the snake and bring it with you), how to avoid snake bites and the biggest myths about snake bites.

The video also includes b-roll of non-venomous snakes.