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HomePet NewsExotic Pet NewsFlip-flops warning after woman bitten by adder in Gosport

Flip-flops warning after woman bitten by adder in Gosport


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  • By Helen Head & Kate Eagleton-Etheridge
  • BBC South

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Adders hibernate from October, emerging in the first warm days of March

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A woman is appealing for people to be vigilant and not to wear flip-flops in long grass after she was bitten by an adder.

Tracey Evans ended up in hospital after being bitten on her big toe by the venomous snake in Alver Valley Country Park in Gosport on Sunday.

She had gone out early to walk her dogs because she was preparing for her daughter’s surprise birthday party.

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Ms Evans ended up missing the party and was still in hospital two days later.

Image source, Tracey Evans

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Tracey Evans said the pain was excruciating

Speaking to the BBC from her hospital bed, she said: “I had a very small bite on my big toe – up to my knee my leg is rock solid where it’s so swollen.

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“The pain is like nothing I’ve ever felt. I can’t even put my foot on the ground – the pain is excruciating.

“I’ve walked my dogs there for five years and I’ve never seen an adder. I didn’t see this one until it struck.

“It’s a valuable lesson learnt. Don’t wear flip-flops, even though it’s sunny.”

Image source, BBC/Jo Palmer

Image caption,

Richard Daponte, a Forestry England ranger said adders were on the “sluggish side” at this time of year and may be defensive when startled

Richard Daponte, a ranger with Forestry England, said: “Usually the swelling only goes to the next big joint.

“So if you are bitten in the toe it will go to your knee, if you are bitten in the finger it will go to your elbow.

“Never suck the poison out – that would make it worse and lead to all sorts of complications.”

“An adder bite stops the blood from clotting – the best thing is to be still to stop it circulating and get taken to a hospital as soon as possible.”

The charity Amphibian and Reptile Conservation said between 50 and 100 people are bitten by adders in Great Britain each year.

It added: “When walking in areas where adders occur, it is best to keep to well-used paths or other open areas, wear shoes or boots, walk slowly, and look closely where you are walking.”

What should you do if you are bitten by a snake?

  • Stay calm – most snake bites in the UK are not serious and can be treated
  • Keep the part of your body that was bitten as still as you can
  • Lie in the recovery position if you can and take paracetamol for any pain
  • Try to remember the colour and pattern of the snake to tell the doctor
  • Take off any jewellery and loosen clothes near the bite, in case the skin swells
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