Doncaster man seriously injured in adder snake bite drama

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A Doncaster man has been left seriously ill after he was bitten a number of times by a snake in North Yorkshire.

The 44-year-old was visiting Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire, when he was bitten three times by an adder.

An off-duty paramedic was able to give immediate assistance to the man before a rapid response and trauma team, led by a doctor, arrived at the scene, according to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The man was stabilised before he was airlifted from the scene to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where he was in a serious but stable condition last night, the GNAAS said.

The adder is Britain’s only venomous snake but its bite is rarely life-threatening.

The last death in the UK was in 1975 when a five-year-old boy was bitten on the ankle in the Trossachs, in Scotland. Research published after this incident showed there had been 14 deaths from adder bites in the previous 100 years.

Researchers found only one death between 1950 and 1972 in England and Wales but pointed out that there were 61 deaths from bee or wasp stings in the same period.

According to NHS advice, adder bite symptoms include swelling, vomiting, nausea and dizziness and, in most cases, the only treatment required is observation in hospital. More severe bites are treated with anti-venom medication.

Children bitten by an adder will usually make a full recovery in about one to three weeks but adults usually require more than three weeks to recover fully. Some adults can take up to nine months.

About 100 adder bites are reported in the UK each year, with most between February and October.