CRR snakebite victim rushed to hospital

Sisters woman was on hike; doing well

POSTED: 5:41 PM PDT October 15, 2012    UPDATED: 7:21 PM PDT October 15, 2012 
Snakebite victim taken to helicopter
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, Ore. -

A Sisters woman was out on a fall hike with friends at Crooked River Ranch on Monday when she put her hand on a rock and was bitten by a rattlesnake, officials said. Fortunately, her friends called 911 and a helicopter rushed her to a Bend hospital, where she was in fair condition later in the day.

Fire Chief Tim McLaren said the 59-year-old woman had hiked down the Scout Camp Trail on the northern end of the ranch with her companions and was hiking back out when the incident happened shortly after 11:30 a.m.

"She put her hand on a rock and was bitten by a rattlesnake on her right index finger," McLaren said.

The friends placed a tourniquet on her arm, McLaren said, and called 911 dispatchers who sent in fire medics to hike down to her location

The woman's tongue and lips had begun to tingle and turn numb, and her hand swelled due to the snake's venom, the fire chief said.

"It's a young rattlesnake," McLaren said. "When it bit her, she was able to grab the snake and throw it." They described it as about a foot long, tan in color, with brown banding,

"It was sluggish, probably on the rock sunning itself," McLaren said, calling the bite something of a "fluke."

A makeshift landing zone was set up for a Life Flight helicopter, which landed and flew her to St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, the fire chief said. Anti-venom was administered and her condition was stabilized, he added.

This was the second snakebite case at Crooked River Ranch in about a year, McLaren said.

"I see rattlesnakes all the time out there," he added.