An 18-year-old in North Texas was rushed to the hospital this week after he failed to notice a snake and was bitten while playing "Pokemon Go."
"The first thing I did was text my friends," Lane Smith said, laughing, in an interview with Medical Center of Lewisville personnel.
According to the medical center, Smith and a friend were playing "Pokemon Go" on Tuesday night in Flower Mound, Texas, when his friend noticed a "stick" moving in their path.
The stick turned out to be a small brown snake. Hospital officials suspect it was a venomous copperhead.
Smith, focused on his cellphone instead of his destination, didn't notice as the snake wrapped itself around his foot. It bit his toe and within minutes, his foot began to swell.
"Snake bites can produce an array of symptoms, including pain and swelling, nausea, convulsions and even paralysis," said Dr. James Doyle, emergency medical director for the Medical Center of Lewsiville. "Quick treatment is essential for the best outcome."
Smith felt pain spreading up to his thigh and his parents rushed him to Flower Mound Emergency Center, a department of Medical Center of Lewisville, according to hospital officials.
He was assessed and treated before medics took him by ambulance to the main hospital to determine whether he needed antivenin. He did not and doctors said he was released within 24 hours.
He's recovering at home.
Despite the accident, Smith told medical center personnel that he'll continue to play "Pokemon Go." He and doctors shared the following advice for players:
- When traveling as part of the game, 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 Pokemon is near, so you can watch where you are walking.
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