Snake Anti-Venom in Nationwide Shortage

Snakes are more active in the warm months of summer... that makes this the worst time of year to run out of "anti-venom", used to treat snakebites.

Unfortunately, the nation finds itself with a shortage of the antidote.

In Texas, some hospitals have run out of the small supply they usually have on hand. The reason is that a manufacturer stopped production for a time. East Texas Medical Center wants people not to be concerned. There is supply available almost immediately in critical cases. Those are few and far between.

"We've had seven or eight snake victims this year, and we've only used the antivenom on one patient.  So, not every patient that is snakebit needs the antivenom," says ETMC Pharmacy Director Jimmy Williams.

Williams says the antivenom often produces severe allergic reactions, that can themselves be life threatening. The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler holds an emergency supply that can be delivered to local hospitals until new stock arrives.