A case study for: Poisonous Snake and Other Bite Emergencies
A friend and I were sitting at an outdoor barrio restaurant in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. The day was sunny and brightly colored fishing boats lined the beach. Elizabeth couldn’t finish her lunch because she had a migraine headache and all of the aspirin she had taken upset her stomach. Not wanting to waste her salad, she laid it on the knee-high stone wall separating us from the ocean. A large iguana shyly approached and began feasting. I said, “That isn’t the smartest thing to do.” She laughed, kept feeding the iguana for several minutes and said, “Watch this.” She held up a piece of lettuce with her hand just under the edge of the wall with the leaf sticking above it. In Spanish, she said, “I bet you. He eat out of my hand.” I shook my head and said, “Not smart Jane Goodall.” The iguana inhaled the lettuce biting Elizabeth’s index finger at the tip. The aspirin had thinned her blood and it was running down her forearm in seconds. I heard a thump behind me. Turning, a lady had passed out and her head fell in her plate. A waiter ran over. I ask for a towel to stop the bleeding. Looking towards Elizabeth’s finger, he turned pale and began retching. A policeman came running in and started blowing his whistle to add to the chaos. It seemed like the door wasn’t wide enough for everyone to get out. Elizabeth survived and probably will not be feeding iguanas anytime soon. You never know when you’ll face a similar situation.