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Blue Jeans May Offer Protection From Rattlesnake Bites

When I was a medical student, I served a summer externship in 1975 with the Indian Health Service at Fort Belknap in Harlem, Montana. On some hot summer evenings, I went fishing at a place the locals called “Snake Lake,” which was loaded with cutthroat trout, and surrounded by rocky outcroppings that were home to scores of rattlesnakes. I was advised to stay away from the rocks, and to always wear long pants.

In the December, 2009 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine (Ann Emerg Med 2009;54:830-836), there appeared an article reporting a study by Shelton Herbert, PhD and William Hayes, PhD entitled “Denim Clothing Reduces Venom Expenditure by Rattlesnakes Striking Defensively at Model Human Limbs.” The purpose of the study was to determine whether ordinary clothing (denim material from blue jeans) interferes with the kinematics of venom delivery, thereby reducing the amount of venom injected by a typical snake into a (model) human limb. Read more »

This post, Blue Jeans May Offer Protection From Rattlesnake Bites, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

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