If you have ever been bitten by a snake in the Houston area, you have probably met Envision’s Dr. Spencer Greene. Dr. Greene is a toxicologist and specializes in treating venomous and non-venomous snake bites.

Dr. Greene’s hospital HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood treated more snake bites than any other hospital in the nation in 2021 and 2022, according to the North American Snakebite Registry. About 100-200 snake bites are recorded in Harris and Montgomery counties each year. More than 70 percent of those are Copperhead bites.

According to Dr. Greene, a lot of things about snakes and their venom is misunderstood. With proper treatment, snake bites should not have lingering effects on your health. He says that on average, snake bites cause 3.4 deaths a year, and most of those are because people did not seek any medical attention.

People always ask how Dr. Greene came to treating snake bites for a living.

“I found an interest for it, and I have a talent in it. I learned about the occupational stuff, plants, mushrooms, snakes and other envenomations,” Dr. Greene said.

“Just remember, snakes are important for the environment; they eat vermin, and vermin carry fleas and ticks that can transmit diseases. We also learn a lot of important medical discoveries from snakes.”

If you’re bitten by a snake, Dr. Greene says to remember the following:

  • Get away from the snake
  • If you can, take a picture of the snake
  • Remove anything tight — for example, jewelry and clothes
  • Elevate the affected area
  • Get to your nearest hospital
  • Don’t use tourniquets – while they’re great for stopping bleeding, they’re bad for snake bites
  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t use ice
  • Don’t take any medications