HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — Roughly a dozen Grand Strand Health Emergency Medicine residents visited Alligator Adventure to learn how to respond to various environmental emergencies.

Residents learned about the local and exotic snakes found in our area, what injuries they can cause, and how to use anti-venom to treat patients.

Grand Strand Health director of toxicology Dr. Jarratt Lark said the most common snake bites they see are from copperhead snakes.

Lark said most people don’t even realize the snakes there because of how well they can camouflage themselves.

“Copperheads know ‘hey they can’t see me. I’m blending in so good’ So they freeze,” Lark said. “They just sit there, and you don’t see them, and so you end up stepping near them, or if you’re gardening, you might reach your hand down near them, and you end up becoming a victim of a snake bite accidentally.”

Lark said with copperheads, getting to the hospital within an hour or hour and a half gives them plenty of time to treat patients with anti-venom.

He said those bitten can call paramedics if needed, but to make sure the bitten area stays in a neutral position to reduce the chances of swelling and to keep the venom from entering other parts of the body.