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Man 1st in US to receive new anti-venom treatment

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man is the first patient in the nation to receive a newly-approved anti-venom treatment.

Samuel Evans suffered a rattlesnake bite Sunday while hiking in White Tank Mountain Regional Park and trying to move a snake out of the trail.

“It got hung up in a bush and the stick slipped off of it, and he spun around and bit me,” Evans said.

After going to the hospital and getting the old anti-venom antidote, Evans had an allergic reaction. So doctors at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix decided to use the new anti-venom, recently-approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Everything seems to be progressing very well,” Evans said.

Not only does the new treatment work in some patients with allergies to other anti-venom, but doctors also say it has other advantages.

“It lasts in the body longer,” said Dr. Aryn O’Connor, a toxicologist at Banner University Medical Center.

That means this new anti-venom can continue to fight venom still lingering in the body.

“I think we’re in good shape,” Dr. O’Connor said of Evans’ condition.

Interestingly, O’Connor treated Evans 14 years before for another rattlesnake bite.

“You promised me you weren’t gonna handle snakes again,” O’Connor said to Evans.

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