18-year old Lane Smith of Flower Mound is warning others of the dangers of distraction after playing Pokémon Go landed him in the hospital.
About 9:00pm Tuesday night, Lane and a friend were playing Pokémon Go when they noticed a Poké Stop at a nearby park. Focused on his cell phone, instead of his surroundings, Lane says it was his friend that noticed a moving “stick” in the path. By then, the small brown snake, suspected to be a copperhead, had wrapped around Lane’s foot and bitten his toe.
“The first thing I did was text my friends,” Lane laughed from his hospital bed at Medical City Lewisville.
Within minutes, Lane says his foot began to swell and he could feel pain spreading up to his thigh. His parents rushed him to nearby Flower Mound Emergency Center, a department of Medical City Lewisville.
“It’s important to go to a full-service emergency room as soon as possible after a snake bite,” said James Doyle, MD, Medical City Lewisville Emergency Medical Director. “Snake bites can produce an array of symptoms, including pain and swelling, nausea, convulsions, and even paralysis. Quick treatment is essential for the best outcome.”
Medical City Lewisville has specialized, dedicated resources available to manage major and severe injuries, such as a snake bite.
Lane was quickly assessed and treated, and then transferred via ambulance to the main hospital, recently designated as an Advanced (Level III) Trauma Center. Doctors determined Lane did not require antivenin to treat his injury. He was released less than 24-hours later and is recovering at home.
“Our emergency departments have the staff, training, supplies and equipment, as well as the policies and procedures to care for trauma patients as part of an ongoing commitment to improve outcomes for survival,” said Elizabeth Kim, MD, Medical City Lewisville Trauma Medical Director.
Though Lane says he’ll continue to play the game, he also has a warning and advice about the dangers of distracted playing for other Pokémon Go gamers:
- Always go with a friend or group, never alone.
- Don’t go out at night when visibility is low – stay in well-lit, populated areas.
- Be cautious in grassy or wooded areas – day or night.
- Wear appropriate clothing, including closed-toe shoes.
- Don’t play in streets or when driving a car.
- Be aware of your surroundings. The app will buzz your phone to alert you when a Pokémon is near, so you can watch where you are walking.