A Flower Mound teen is warning fellow Pokemon Go players about the dangers of distraction after being bitten by a copperhead this week.
At about 9 p.m. Tuesday July 12, Lane Smith, 18, was admitted to an area hospital after being bitten.
Lane and a friend were playing the popular game Pokémon Go when they noticed a Poké Stop at a nearby park, according to a city of Lewisville news release. Focused on his cellphone instead of his surroundings, Lane said his friend noticed what he called a moving “stick” in the path. At that point, the snake, suspected to be a copperhead, had wrapped around Lane’s foot and bitten his toe.
“The first thing I did was text my friends,” Lane said from his hospital bed at Medical Center of Lewisville, according to the news release.
Within minutes, Lane said his foot began to swell and he could feel pain spreading up to his thigh. His parents rushed him to nearby Flower Mound Emergency Center, a department of Medical Center of Lewisville.
“It’s important to go to a full-service emergency room as soon as possible after a snake bite,” said James Doyle, M.D., Medical Center of Lewisville emergency medical director.
“Snake bites can produce an array of symptoms, including pain and swelling, nausea, convulsions, and even paralysis. Quick treatment is essential for the best outcome,” Doyle said.
Medical Center of Lewisville has specialized, dedicated resources available to manage major and severe injuries, such as a snake bite.
Lane was quickly assessed, treated and transferred via ambulance to the main hospital. Doctors determined that Lane did not require antivenin to treat his injury. He was released less than 24-hours later and is recovering at home.
“Our emergency departments have the staff, training, supplies and equipment, as well as the policies and procedures to care for trauma patients as part of an ongoing commitment to improve outcomes for survival,” said Elizabeth Kim, M.D., medical director of the facility.
Though Lane said he plans to continue playing the game, he also has a few tips about distracted playing for fellow Pokémon Go gamers:
* Always go with a friend or group, never alone.
* Don’t go out at night when visibility is low – stay in well-lit, populated areas.
* Be cautious in grassy or wooded areas – day or night.
* Wear appropriate clothing, including closed-toe shoes.
* Don’t play in streets or when driving a car.
* Be aware of your surroundings. The app will buzz your phone to alert you when a Pokémon is near, so you can watch where you are walking.