Landscaper bitten by snake in Miramar shares ordeal

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A lawn maintenance worker is recovering in the hospital one day after, officials said, he was bitten by a snake at an apartment complex in Miramar.

7News cameras showed 34-year-old Alcides Maldonado in his hospital bed at Palmetto General Hospital. Doctors said the patient is lucky he received anti-venom treatment when he did because the snake that bit him, a water moccasin, was poisonous.

Maldonado was doing yard work at the Windsor at Miramar complex, located along the the 3700 block of Southwest 160th Avenue, when he was bitten on his left hand by the reptile, Thursday afternoon.

Maldonado said he initially was not sure what had happened. “I saw something moving, then felt the prick,” he said through a translator. “I thought it was a splinter until I saw the blood.”

When he saw the water moccasin, he took out the machete and killed it so he could know what type of snake bit him. “He picked his gardening tool back up and then attacked the snake and killed the snake in the process,” said said Dr. Alex Morizio at Palmetto General Hospital.

Maldonado then took photographs of the snake, so he could have evidence of the snake that bit him, just in case it was poisonous.

“I started to feel a sharp pain. Then it started to run up my arm and swell,” he said.

Within the hour, Maldonado said, he was unable to move his hand. “When I saw that I couldn’t move my fingers or hand, that’s when I got scared,” he said.

He had someone drive him to the hospital.

Shortly after, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Venom Unit was airlifted to that hospital to administer anti-venom. “We gave him anti-venom, which is like an anti-toxin, to suppress the venomous properties of the snake and the venom that they inject into the person,” said Morizio. “Usually, it comes on two or three doses, and that’s exactly what we gave him.”

The swelling on Maldonado’s hand and arm began to go down shortly after. “It actually does look really good,” said Morizio as he examined the patient’s hand. “He’s lucky. Que suerte.”

Morizio advised snake bite victims to seek medical help immediately. “I think anybody who’s getting bitten by a snake, don’t judge whether you think it’s venomous or not. Just go straight to your local emergency room,” he said.

Maldonado is expected to be released within the next few days. He said, when he goes back to work, he’s going to be a little more careful.

Snake season runs from April to October, and officials said they tend to hide and come out after the rain. The type of snake that bit the landscaper is also known as a cottonmouth.

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