San Diego

‘Body Was Shutting Down': Woman Twice Bitten by Rattlesnake in Del Sur

Molly Chinnock was given five vials of antivenin

Rattlesnake bites are up this season in San Diego County, with over 100 calls more this year compared to last year, according to Director of County Animal Services.

Saturday, Molly Chinnock was bitten twice by a rattlesnake in Del Sur while she was walking home from a neighbor’s house.

"We were walking in the middle of the street, not near the canyons," Chinnock recalled Tuesday. "We were in a suburban neighborhood."

Chinnock first blacked out and then remembers immediately going numb after she was bitten. She said she could not feel her tongue or face.

"My entire body was shutting down," she said.

She was rushed to Palomar Medical Center Poway and remained in the ICU for three days. She was given five vials of antivenin.

Antivenin is mandatory to treat snake bites, said Dr. Roy Johnson, a snake expert. But it’s expensive and not available at every hospital.

Johnson has treated more than 1,000 snake bites in his career and warned that delayed treatment could be deadly.

"People can die. People can lose limbs. So it can be a very, very bad thing," Johnson said.

From June 2016 through Sept. 4, 2016, the Director of County Animal Services has received a total of 370 calls regarding rattlesnakes. For the same time period this year, that number is 494.

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