Rattlesnake bites Texas teen who's allergic to anti-venom; Flown to Arizona for treatment

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix hospital is currently treating four people for rattlesnake bites.

Banner University Medical Center Phoenix said it's the first year it's using a new anti-venom, which came in handy for one Texas teenager this week.

"I stepped on something, and I heard a snake, and it hissed, and I felt a bite on my toe, and I just ran, and I just panicked," said 17-year-old Anthony Rodriguez from San Antonio.

When it happened Friday night, doctors in Texas gave Rodriguez a type of anti-venom they've been using for years, but he had an allergic reaction. He was flown to Phoenix for a new type of anti-venom he wasn't allergic to.

"It’s made from different snakes, and it’s made in horses instead of sheep," said Steven Curry, the physician director for the Department of Medical Toxicology at Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix. "It’s also structurally different in that it lasts longer than the other anti-venom, so we are hoping it will be less likely we will see the re-occurrence in swelling or blood problems in people receiving it."

He said the hospital has treated 18 bites since February.

"There are many weekends when we will admit four or five rattlesnake bites, but it’s usually not this early in the season," said Curry.

Rodriguez said he's thankful it worked for him.

"I’m pretty lucky because it could have been really worse without the anti-venom," said Rodriguez.

He said he is hoping to fly back to Texas Monday, April 8.