View Full Version : Dr. Sean Bush from Venom E.R. treats own son for rattlesnak

06-18-2006, 12:37 AM
Dr. Sean Bush from Venom E.R. treats own son for rattlesnake bite
Among the recent snake-bite victims was Jude Bush, a toddler who was bitten when he played with a small rattlesnake in Yucaipa. He was rushed to a hospital, where the doctor who was the anti-venom expert on duty was his own father.

"Two marks show where the baby rattler sunk its fang into the two-and-a-half-year old boy," KNBC's Mary Parks reported. "The snake hung on, injecting venom the whole time, until Jude shook the snake loose."

Jude's mother, Amy Bush, called a neighbor to catch the snake.

"I got the kids back in the house and called 911 and knew we needed a heliocopter because it was a rattlesnake bite," Amy told Parks. "We needed to get to the hospital quickly."

Within an hour, doctors and nurses at Loma Linda University Medical Center were treating Jude with antivenom. The facility has one of the busiest snakebite units in the country, treating as many as 50 victims a year.

The snakebite expert on the scene at the time Jude was taken in happened to be Dr. Sean Bush, a venom specialist known for his show 'Venom E.R.' and, coincidentally, Jude's father.

"Oh, my gosh," Dr. Sean Bush told Parks. "It was very difficult. It was agonizing. I felt I had to be there. I had to do it. I'm kind of the expert. I wanted him to have the best care."

Amy Bush told Parks her son was trying to put the snake in a cage, as he had seen his father do safely so many times before.

"It was quite ironic and scary," Amy said. "And I think Sean did a beautiful job of being able to balance being daddy and being Sean's care giver. He makes it a policy not to treat family. There was no choice in the matter."

The most common type of snake bite is from the Southern Pacific rattlesnake.

"But in the Inland empire and further east, in the desert, there is also the Mojave Green snake, which is more dangerous," Parks reported. "And the two snakes in some cases are cross-breeding, to create an even more toxic venom."

Found this over on the news section on fauna classifieds.. that must have been scary for the Bush family! I cannot even imagine.....

06-18-2006, 03:20 AM
Jeez! That must've been horribly frightening. What the hell was the kid doing trying to put a venomous snake in a cage!?! I haven't taken my daughter out to the field as much as I did last "season", but one thing I always make sure of is to tell her NEVER to pick anything up. If she holds anything, it's something I've caught first. She's only 7, and once she is older, and has a better knowledge of the herps that are native to our area then I'll feel better about her doing that.

I love watching "Venom ER". I e-mailed my sister about it because she's doing her residency @ the same hospital (Loma Linda), and ahs seen Dr. Bush around.


06-18-2006, 09:24 AM
I think the key there was that he's two and a half years old.

Try and teach a two and a half year old child not to do something. Anything. Hell, just try to teach him not to put something in his mouth. Fat chance. My baby brother's just about two and a half, and I know how hard it is to stop him from doing something! And on top of that, at two and a half, they're at the age where they mimick EVERYTHING they see adults to; especially their loved ones.

That is SO sad that the child was bitten. I couldn't imagine being the Dr, and having to deal with that, let alone treat my own child. I was just watching the show last week, and him & his wife were talking about what they're going to do about their kids & snakes, and about how they're already trying to teach them to be safe, and how hard it is.

06-19-2006, 02:07 PM
Children will copy what they see others do. One reason why I try to do most my feeding/cleaning when the little ones are sleeping, as well as trying to do field herping without them. I do include them however, and only ever do things how they should be done when they are watching.. no hand feeding our captives :P or messing with rattlers in the field.

I would love to be able to take at least my older 2 kids out in the field with me every time, but with how close I have walked past that southern pacific pair every time we saw them.. I can easily see one of the kids hitting the bush.. or reaching down for a stick and getting bitten.. so.. yeah. They only get to go into the more worn areas, like the area behind the park we just went recently.

But they are kids.. and will still end up doig things you would rather them not. Like sneaking in and trying to hold the newly bought kingsnake... that is really tiny.. and realy fast.. and wasn't really cheap.. thankfully he just hid under his tub.

Young kids, especially a 2 1/2 yr old, can't really distinguish between a venomous and non snake. They do not really grasp the concept that it can Kill them and certainly do not have the reflexes of an adult. I just hope he is better and learns not to play with snakes without his dad around!

Not sure about the crossbreeding... I know that in different areas snakes of the same type can have very variable venom, even ones living just miles apart. Who knows though.. nothing is impossible.