Friday, August 10, 2007
"Look, Daddy, there's a snake under my tricycle!"
By Caleb Hellerman
Senior Producer

My 3-year-old son loves snakes, the ones he's seen in books. After his recent pronouncement, I strolled out of the garage and peered under his tricycle, about a dozen feet away. A stick was lying underneath the pedals. What an imagination! But there was something about it... A few steps closer, I caught my breath, plastered a smile on my face and asked my son if he wouldn't like to step inside for just a moment.

"Look, Daddy, there's a snake under my tricycle!"

From a safe distance, I examined the copperhead in my driveway. I could see that he - or she -- only an expert can tell -- was just two feet long but impressively thick around the middle. I recognized him from a few weeks back, when I accidentally almost grabbed him, or maybe it was his friend, while weeding a patch of ivy. Since I admire these beautiful animals, I let him be - that time. But under the tricycle was too close for comfort. I got an axe and lopped off his head. If you find yourself in the same position, use a shovel or other long object to pick up the dead snake. Even a severed head can still bite, reflexively.

About 8,000 people are bitten each year by venomous snakes in the U.S., according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. Snakes don't seek out humans; the typical victim is a young man who tries to pick up the animal or a hiker who steps on one by mistake. Encounters spike in the summer, when reptiles are more active and people spend more time outside.

What to do if you're bitten? First, forget what you may have learned. Don't use a tourniquet or make cuts near the bite or try to suck out the venom. And don't delay. Unless you're sure it's a non-venomous species, head for an emergency room, says Dr. Brian Daley, a surgeon in the division of Trauma and Critical Care at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. If you're in a truly remote area, you can self-treat by immobilizing the bite with a splint and applying pressure with an Ace bandage, says Dr. Eric Lavonas, an emergency physician and toxicologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. The pressure can prevent a dangerous dip in blood pressure, but isn't a long-term solution. Anything that reduces circulation also keeps the body from flushing the toxin, which leaves it concentrated in the bitten area and increases the risk of tissue damage, says Lavonas. Above all, get outside medical help, fast.

The venom of a copperhead, rattlesnake or cottonmouth "is designed to turn a mouse into mush, and it'll start doing the same to your hand," explains Lavonas. The poison causes hemorrhaging and swelling around the bitten hand, arm or foot, and throughout the body in severe cases. Coral snakes, found in Florida and some parts of the Southwest, inject a nerve toxin like a cobra's. Even venomous snakes don't always release poison into the wound, but if they do, expect excruciating pain, warns Daley.

Depending on the bite's severity, and the type of snake involved - a copperhead's bite is generally much less dangerous than that of a rattlesnake -- doctors may give antivenom to neutralize the poison, or simply watch and wait. The downside of antivenom is that it can cause an allergic reaction, though newer versions have sharply reduced that risk, say experts. Nationwide, most years, fewer than 10 bites prove fatal, but many victims complain of lingering pain for months or even years afterwards.

Have you had an encounter with a dangerous creature? Tell us.
I was in my kitchen and heard through the back bedroom and out into the backyard a sound like someone watering. I went out to investigate and saw my dog walking back and forth against the latice around the deck. It only took me 2 seconds to realize it was the sound of a rattlesnake being disturbed by my dog's pacing. I asked my dog to come inside, he did, I closed the sliding door and called the fire dept. They were dispatched and took only 12 minutes to come down the canyon. I showed the 3 firemen where the sound was coming from and they came into the backyard with a flashlight, shovel and long stick with a wire loop at the end. After a few minutes, they saw the rattlesnake coiled up close to where my dog had been pacing. They manuevered the rattler out and it was a big one. 3 footer and about 8-9 years old. The rattle was quite intact and large. It was a beautiful snake, but very deadly. They held it up, I took a few photos and then chopped it's head off with a shovel and explained that they would take the head and put a tin can around the head, then bury it because even dried venom is very dangerous. It was just another ho hum day in the day and life in a Beverly Hills, California canyon home. My husband later skinned the snake after going on line for directions, tanned it himself and we are having it mounted. What a conversation piece!
I know there are many snake lovers out there, but I firmly agree with killing a venomous snake that comes within feet of a toddler. The copperhead species will live on, but a toddler may not.
I was only 8 years old when I decided to sit out in our garden porch and study for school.

This one day, there was a slight drizzle and the weather was extremelely pleasant when i suddenly felt something rather slitthery slide over my foot. As i looked under the table i saw an eight foot long cobra wrapped across my leg just getting ready to strike. Luckily for me my father removed his shotgun and fired the cobra's tail.

I think this may have been the most frightening moment of my life.

Actually had one very similar to yours. My neighbor called to say there was a snake on her back porch and when I went to investigate I found a 2ft copperhead curled up in front of the door. After dispatching him, I discovered two of his brothers stationed on either side of the door!

-C. Cunning
New Bern, NC
The solution to encountering a "dangerous creature" is not to kill them. It is to treat them with the respectful distance they deserve. They are important parts of our ecosystem. This post is environmentally inappropriate.
Since childhood, I've encountered a few venemous snakes. It's important with children to teach them to remain calm around wild animals especially so as not to provoke an instinctual attack unwittingly. If in the animal's territory, back away slowly. If it's in yours, consult local wildlife experts on how best to move it along.
Why kill the snake? It's just as easy to carefully sweep it into a bucket and release it in an appropriate place. We are losing too many snakes and other important animals that help control rodents and other vermin. This article makes me sad.
I was bitten by a Cottonmouth when I was seven years old. I was taken to a hospital in Piggott, AR for treatment. It was a small town hospital, but the people there were very professional. When they were told what had happened, they immediately rushed me in for treatment. They did not take the time to ask about insurance or anything like that, which would have taken precious treatment time away from me. I had been at my aunt and uncle's house when the bite occurred. They got me to the hospital within about thirty minutes. They were told that if it had taken thirty minutes I probably would have died. I don't know if the use of a tourniquet had made any difference or not, but I spent several weeks in critical condition. The swelling went all the way up my left arm, covered my whole face, and just missed my heart. They thought I would at least lose my left arm, but the antivenon must have really helped, because in the end, all I lost was one finger. I was impressed with the level of professionalism by the health care professionals there, especially considering the size of the town. I sometimes wonder what would happen in the same situation today. Medicine has come a long way since 1961, but today it seems that concern about insurance takes precedence over swift treatment.
This is a great snake story that should be a warning to parents to watch their children and surroundings. I have worked with snakes for years and handled most every species. While snakes don't seek out people they do bite when a hand comes to close for comfort. Most bites do occur when a snake is handled or approached by accident. But, I have seen some nasty bites to children who were playing in the yard with no ill intentions toward a snake. Most snakes move at night and steer clear of urban areas. The current heatwave changes this as normal prey items may be harder to find. Check your lawn and surrounding areas when little ones are outside.
Although copperhead snakes are venomous and pose a threat to people who encounter them, I think Dr. Gupta's article sends a wrong message:

"I got an axe and lopped off his head."

First, just because something may pose a threat does not mean one should kill it. Snakes and other reptiles are some of the most endangered species in the United States (and North America) because of people like Dr. Gupta who, instead of avoiding them, actively and ignorantly destroy them. Granted, the copperhead is not an endangered species in the US; however, Dr. Gupta's example sends a poor message about respect for wildlife and life in general. I'm surprised that an educated person like Dr. Gupta (though not a herpetologist) would not only commit such an ignorant act, but post it as some sort of authority on the subject of human-wildlife interactions. You don't have to know much about reptiles to know they are secretive and their behaviour is driven by basic biology (remember intro biology class at university?). They are ectotherms, so on a hot day, the shade under his car (or tricycle) is an ideal habitat for it to stay cool. He threw away an opportunity away to teach his son about 1.) safety around snakes, and 2.) a little about the biology of the wildlife with which they share a home.

Second, experts suggest the best way to avoid being bitten by the copperhead is by "avoiding the snake instead of trying to kill it or pick it up" (see link below to the University of North Carolina site on copperhead snakes). Attempting to kill venomous snakes with axe or other instrument may actually increase the risk of being bitten.

University of North Carolina:
Good Day,

Just an FYI it is illegal to harass, kill, collect or possess Copperheads in some of the states. They are not currently on the Federal Endangered Species list, but on individual states endangered lists. I would recommend contacting a qualified individual to remove the snakes from your property. Please be aware that most venomous snakes are on an endangered list somewhere. Thanks for protecting the wildlife.
In 1981, I got bit twice by a pigmy rattlesnake. The snake was lying in the sand in my front yard in Florida. I stepped in the middle of his back. I never saw the snake because the snake and the sand were basically the same color (not ALL Florida sand is white).

At first, I thought I had gotten stung by a wasp. Then my husband found the snake (I had been watering a tree my father had given me to plant)and he saw my shoe print around the snake - it had not moved.

He killed the snake and put it in a brown grocery bag. He took me and the snake both to the ER. The snake was taken so that I could be given the correct anti-venom shot which I never received because too much time had passed. The hospital called a doctor that handled more snake bites than any other - he was playing golf at the time.

I spent 16 days in the hospital and had to have a skin graft on my right ankle - the location of the bite.

I am fine now but have poor circulation in my right ankle due to the snake bite. No other lingering symptoms from the bite.
Yeah King Cobra here in the Philippines. We were on our way to a medical mission trip to Aurora province when we spotted some of them hanging in the tree and in the ground. Local people use garlic to treat snake bites but we ended up telling them to avoid such thing. Since hospital is a mountain away from their homes, poor people just died of simple bite snakes.
The more important thing for you to do is to teach your child to appreciate that snakes can be dangerous, which should be easy since we are probably genetically programmed to fear snakes.

Having killed one copperhead, you are nevertheless still in copperhead territory. Not to worry: copperheads are really only mildly venomous. There are probably wasp nests around your yard that pose more threat to your child than any copperheads that might be around.

I have no doubt that it is frightening to have your child come upon a venomous snake, but with a copperhead I hope that in the future you'll think about just moving the snake to a place where it is less likely ever to encounter anyone.
I grew up in rattlesnake country and have had many snake encounters, but the one that sticks in my mind is one day I was getting a bale of hay out of a stack. I always turn the bale towards me just in case there should be a snake under it. As I reached for the bale, I caught a movement to one side out of the corner of my eye and reflexively jerked my hands back. A rattlesnake that had been hidden between some other bales hit just where my hand had been. He never rattled. The significant aspect was that my heart went wild and I was so weaak I had to back off and sit down a few minutes before I was able to get a shovel and hunt him and kill him. I have never had such a reaction before or since. Adrenaline shock?

I would prefer my name not be used if possible.
Your post is very timely. My 5 year old son was bitten by a rattlesnake just this week. Luckily it was a dry bite (didn't release any venom).
We had been standing close together in one spot for 10-15 minutes on a fairly steep slope with some tall grasses and bushes just feet from our back yard. I was very wary of rattlesnakes in the area, so I felt like I was being cautious and I could see the ground around us. I felt relatively comfortable with my son being stationary in a small clearing and close to me. I don't remember exactly what we were doing at the moment when the silence was broken by his terrifying scream. I was literally standing just inches from him when he started screaming and clutching his inner thigh through his shorts. I was sure that a bee or an ant had gotten tangled up inside his shorts and was biting/stinging his leg. I didn't move him; I just kneeled down right there and began frantically trying to get whatever was biting him. I did notice two slightly bloody spots just above the inside of his knee, but he was saying the pain was up higher so I assumed that those were just minor nicks from earlier adventures and continued searching for the source of his pain. He is a tough kid and this kind of scream was one I haven't heard from him before, it was different. So I carried him to the top off the gully where his mom came out to see what was going on. She was the first to say "that looks like a snake bite". My immediate reaction was "impossible, there was no snake there". Upon further inspection, I realized that it really did look like a snake bite. Still in disbelief, I told her to take him inside and I went back to the scene to check out the area... no snake. I was totally conflicted. On the one hand, I was absolutely positive that there was no snake. We were standing in one spot for a long time... there was never a rattle, a hiss, or any sign of movement. I didn't see him get struck and he didn't see anything either. There was never a second strike when I knelt down to help him after he was first struck. And I still could not find a snake after returning almost immediately to look for one..... However, the evidence on his leg was indisputable. Two puncture wounds a little more than 1/2 inch apart and rapid swelling and redness.
After an ambulance ride and a visit to the ER, it was confirmed that it was indeed a rattlesnake bite (only two species of snakes in Colorado with that kind of bite and both are rattlers, we're told). They kept him for much of the night for monitoring, but I am happy to say that after that big scare, he was 100% back to his normal self the following day.
His description of the incident was that it felt like an "ax had chopped" his leg. Judging by the size of the bite, we're guesstimating that it was a small, young snake which probably aided it being able to go undetected.
For now, I'm happy because all came out well considering what could've been, but I'm still on the hunt for that phantom snake. I must admit, I’m a bit spooked by these things like never before. It would be different if I had actually seen the little devil and been able to determine what I did wrong or why it happened. But the fact that it struck my son right under my nose and remained virtually invisible before, during and after the fact, you can only imagine the lingering effects is has on my mind when we’re out & about now…. these things can practically materialize out of thin air.
Sorry, but I don't see the 'danger' here. The snake was right in front of you, clearly visible. Harmless. With a little effort you could have captured it -- perhaps you could have used a shovel to safely put in a box -- and then taken it somewhere away from people and released it. Instead you chose to kill it. A fine lesson for your son. What a big man you are, Caleb Hellerman. If this is the way you show your 'admiration' for a "beautiful animal", then I don't want to know how you treat animals you enounter that you don't find beautiful. This post is typical of the sensationalistic, childish nonsense -- ooh, a dangerous snake -- one has come to expect from CNN blogs.
I grew up around copperheads as well as other snakes. By the time I was 4 I knew what a copperhead looked like. As a child I learned to look out of the doors before going outside and once outside I walked on the yard as the copperheads took up residence on the sidewalks. We left them alone and they left us alone. The only time I had a problem with one is when I was about 10 I picked up a basketball and found a copperhead had been curled up around it. It struck out at me so I picked up an ax and chopped him up. One thing I did enjoy was picking up garter snakes and carrying them around just to scare people.
I think some people might have missed a few points:
1 - they don't live in rural area
2 - the boy was only three.
Even if you teach young children about snakes, they might not think it's real before they touch it or they might not even see it.
My 4 year old son said "Mommy, look at the worm". I looked over to see a 4-5 foot black snake crawling over his sneaker. Thankfully, it was headed for it's burrow, didn't stop and my son froze.
Mr. Hellerman would have put himself at risk if he tried to capture that snake for release somewhere.
A few things ...

1. To Richard, who posted the UNC link and kept referring to these actions as those of Dr. Gupta - learn to read. It clearly states at the top of this entry that it was written by one Caleb Hellerman, not Dr. Gupta.

2. To everyone concerned about the supposedly irresponsible death of the snake - would a snake, or any other creature, not kill something to protect its young? Any animal, human or wild, will do everything it can to protect its offspring if they are in a (perceived or otherwise) dangerous situation. Mr. Hellerman did what he was programmed to do - protect his child. Don't try to tell me that is any different than the snake striking because it feels threatened, or that humans are "reasonable" animals and should therefore be more thoughtful in such situations. We're still animals.
The only good snake is a dead snake. Chop all their heads off!
I'm amazed at those posters who suggest that the writer of the article should not have killed the snake.

Once again, the "rights" of an animal are placed above the safety of a human.

As a mother, if any creature posed such a threat to my child, I would respond as any mother in nature would - eliminate the threat as quickly as possible, and by any means necessary.

If it means I have to pay a fine or go to jail for destroying a "protected species", so be it. My child's life is far more important.
When I was a teenager, I used to lay out in the backyard soaking up the summer sun. One hot day as I was listening to music, laying on a blanket, worshiping the summer sun, my mother was whispering as loud as she could, " PJ! Don't move"! There was a copperhead snake laying right next to me on my blanket! I don't know what kept me from being bit, but I flew off that blanket as fast as I could, got the shovel and chopped his head off!
Many types of snakes are protected species unless you're in immediate danger or you're in a survival situation and must eat them or you'll die. I wouldn't automatically kill them because it might be a crime. It's also obviously more dangerous to make them feel more threatened. Most snake bites occur when people try to handle the animals.
I recently killed a copperhead in the garage on our farm. It had wrapped itself in a wooden lattice near the door to the house, hidden behind an old ironing board. When I moved the ironing board, the snake struck at me and missed, because it was wrapped in the lattice. Despite having been told many times that these snakes will not strike, and having been told that they do not live in this area, this one did both. The snake moved very quickly and could not be coaxed out of the garage. As we have 3 children in the house under 6, I killed the snake. No regrets. Reptiles are creatures of habit; I think if I had caught the snake and tossed it out of the garage, it would have come right back in. As a kid growing up in the country, I learned decades ago that people who claim they won't kill an animal posing a threat to their family (or even to the value of their home) quickly do just the opposite when the animal shows up on their doorstep... so ignore the critics.
I have had numerous encounters with snakes including rattlesnakes. They are attracted to buildings because buildings attract food. Once I caught and removed the same snake twice. I released him/her over a mile from the house. The third time was fatal for the snake.

For some reason he had a hunting pattern that brought him near our house. I have a simple rule, when I am in his country I watch him crawl away. When he is in my country he dies. His rattles had been splinter in peculiar fashion so I am reasonably certain it was the same snake.

On a spelunking trip in New Mexico I met a rattler coming in out of the sun as I was headed out of the cave. We met in a narrow belly crawl tube. We watched each other for a few minutes then he took another route and I crawled out and went home. It was his country. It is focuses your attention quite marvelously when you are nose to nose at his eye level.
I am saddened and angry to listen to yet another story of a thoughtless killing of a snake. I am parent of a toddler and a snake biologist that has studied rattlesnakes for several years. As unfortunate as bites are to unwitting, unsuspecting individuals (particularly children), I’m sorry Dr. Gupta decided to publish this story on his blog and somewhat validate the irresponsible behaviour of the author of this article and others who have sent similar posts of how they beheaded or beat a snake(s) to death.

I think most people who unwitting encounter a snake will have to admit that it wasn’t directly threatening them by approaching or rearing up to bite. Most are simply lying in a nice sunny spot or seeking cover. Typically these animals will head in the other direction if you approach or will not react at all (apparently relying on their cryptic colour to protect themselves). As another reader pointed out, the author didn’t mention that this snake was outwardly threatening him or his child. It had simply found an unfortunate spot to hide. So it appears that this thoughtless killing was completely unprovoked and rationalized simply because it was near a toddler's bicycle.

I absolutely agree with the person that said that the author missed a great opportunity to try to teach his child about what snakes look like and not to approach one. And I absolutely disagree with the parents that said you can’t teach toddlers not to touch things. My child is two and I’ve been able to teach her not to touch lots of things and what is dangerous and safe. I obviously understand that this might not fully protect her, but I hope that it is enough to make her think twice before doing something that puts her in danger.

To those readers that think the author acted appropriately, I would argue that putting your child in your car and taking him/her out on the streets with the thousands of poorly-trained, sometimes drunk or drugged drivers, or drivers distracted on their cell phones, is more of a threat to your children. Most parents are willing to take this risk. If you choose to live in rural areas or in the suburbs of urban centers that have sprawled into prime wildlife habitats, you should understand that you are going to encounter wildlife…you’re actually in their territory.

The author could have called animal protection services to remove the snake. Instead he decided to take the easy, lazy, and cruel way of dealing with the animal. Again, I’m sorry that an obviously highly-educated man such as Dr. Gupta failed to see that by publishing this article, he actually encouraged/validated the thoughtless killing of snakes and encouraged a rash of other emails from similar lazy and cruel people.
I was pulling ivy from the shutters on my front windows, my 2 girls were playing on the porch. As I leaned over to pull, I got a look at a brown, with yellow spots in the ivy. I began to back up and yelled to my girls, get in the house, there's a snake, one said "is it real!". My mother-in-law came out with the hoe and next door neighbor came to help, he had on cut off jeans. I came inside to watch through the window, no my husband didn't offer. As they were looking for the snake our small dog came by and his tale swished the neighbor on the leg, and he jumped about 2 feet off the sidewalk. They never saw the snake but I did everytime I looked at the front windows on my house!!! Glad that is the closest I got to it!! Bobbye, Oxford, Ms
Enough from all of the tree huggers against killing a snake. We're talking about a toddler who is within a few feet who doesn't know that this is a potential threat. You mean that you're telling me that a single reptile's life is more important than a child's? No one said annihilate the species. Leave it alone and it may very well return when you aren't immediately available to protect you r child. Try to capture it and you may be bitten. My state has laws stating that a person has the right to protect themselves and their property from a threat. By saying that since the snake didn't strike it isn't a threat is like telling our GI's in IRAQ that an IED is not a threat until it explodes.
Thanks so much for info! I recently relocated to FL from NY, with a minor child.
I live in a part of Florida where snakes are an abundance. THANKFULLY my family hasnt encounterd one but I have children who play outside and would kill a poisonous snake if it could harm my children. At that moment, I dont care if they are part of our ecosystem. Its my childs life thats important!

The people posting about 'not to kill these snakes' do you have kids?
I think this was a cruel way to kill a snake. I understand it could harm the toddler. But why not give it to a zoo? I grew up in India and I am used to snakes. I think my mom (who is not much educated unlike Dr. Gupta) could teach Dr. Gupta some animal cruelty ethics!
I am a US Dept of Agriculture Forest Service contract photographer, and have seen and/or photographed hundreds of different snakes from SC to TX. I am not afraid of them, but I maintain a safe distance for their sake and mine.

I realize they serve a valuable purpose in our environment, and find them fascinating and beautiful creatures. However, if I find a venomous snake within a few feet of my house (which has been here for 50 years), I am going to either remove it from the environment (if I can do so safely), or kill it! I have small children who like to explore the woods behind our home, and who also know how to identify most snake species. But do you want to take a chance on either letting your children explore the yard and woods you own (for now), or hope they don't get bitten when they take the dog out for a walk? Let's see - keep the poisonous snake near the house OR keep the kids healthy? HMMM - that's a tough one.

I'm afraid that some of ya'll would say the snake has more rights than the kid! If so, try to imagine YOUR child in the place of mine.

As most of you educated people know, many snakes (especially pit vipers during the heat of the summer) hunt at night. I am happy to have a 6 ft long King snake beside the house (as they kill poisonous snakes, rodents and frogs), but I do not want to take a chance on a pit viper biting my child.

We should respect all snakes, but if it's within 5 feet of my house, then I will remove it or kill it (whichever is the safest move for the both of us.)

Greg J
When I was 9 or 10, I lived with my grandparents and I had a very scary encounture with a snake. I never did figure out what kind of snake it was or whether it was posinous or not. I was still sleeping in me bed when I woke up to my dog barking at me. I sat up in the bed to see a long black looking snake. I jumped out of my bed and ran and got my granddaddy and he put it in some kind of fish net and took it out to the car and to some woods down the road. It was scary.
Since the garden of eden snakes were to bruise our heels as we are to bruise their heads. Who in the world would think a copperhead is mildly poisonous? Snakes are dangerous, sometimes even deadly. Never compare them to the sting of a wasp!
You people disgust me. "Kill that snake!!! Chop off his head!!! Skin it!!!" Why would you kill an innocent animal, just because it is a snake? If you saw a stray cat you wouldn't "get an ax and lop off its head", even though it can pose a threat to your precious little toddler. What makes killing a snake different than killing a dog or cat? I think you horrible people should be arrested for animal abuse, like you would if you killed a "cute and cuddly puppy". You say you killed it because you were pretecting your kid. Well, first of all, you had enough time to go and grab a camera an an ax, so there's no way your child was in immediate danger, and second, what if your child walked up to a baby snake, but then got killed by the mother because she was protecting her young? Would that be justification for your kid's unneccesary death? Didn't think so. Maybe instead of just mindlessly killing snakes or other reptiles, you could do some research to learn more about them, and find that they are a beneficial part of the community (you don't want mice running all over your yard and house do you?), and are very nice pets that generally will not cause harm to a human (some species are very aggresive though). I have 6 snakes, and they are very tame and kind animals. So next time you see a snake, just let it go.
Let me start by saying, I fully support defending yourself against harm or death if you are about to be attacked and are at risk of death. (By animal or person)

However, in maybe only ONE of the cases listed in all of these 'I killed the snake' stories was anyone actually at risk. As has been said above, the main story: the person had enough time to get a camera, take a picture, and then get an axe, and kill it. Doesn't sound too threatening to me.

To all those people who say that you were just protecting your young, as has also been mentioned, is an animal that is protecting its young and kills a human entitled to the same "Kill without thought" rights you seem to enjoy?

Snakes are often in endangered species lists, and unlike rats once they get a taste for human flesh they do not continually seek it out, so a snake poses no risk if it is relocated by one of the NUMEROUS agencies, organizations and skilled individuals out there for just that purpose.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.