A MAN who rescued his young son from an adder ended up in a hospital resuscitation unit after being bitten by the poisonous snake.

Scott de Vries grabbed the adder when he spotted three-and-a-half-year-old Jensen standing over it during a country walk near York.

He needed urgent treatment to stabilise his heart after the snake bit his index finger as he threw it away from Jensen.

Mr de Vries, 37, of Shiptonthorpe, near Pocklington, also suffered what he described as an enormously swollen hand, a swollen forearm and a swollen upper arm.

He was kept in York Hospital for two days following the incident, at Allerthorpe Common, near Pocklington.

The father of two told The Press: “My instinct was to get it away from my child. I just grabbed the tail and pulled the snake away from (Jensen) and it whipped round and bit me on my finger.

“They gave me some morphine for the pain. York Hospital is only one of two hospitals in Yorkshire that keep a supply of anti-venom for snake bites. It’s just lucky that they did have some.”

Mr de Vries, who works as a regional operations manager for the veterinary firm Vets4Pets, said he then had an adverse reaction to the bite.

“They had to put me in the resuscitation room and fix my heart rate,” he said. “They treated me with some drugs for that and got my heart rate back to safe levels. That was all on Saturday and I’ve spent two days recuperating.

“The swelling went up but now it’s started to go down. I’ve had continuing problems with my heart rate and blood pressure so they kept me in hospital and they also continued to monitor the swelling of my arm.”

Mr de Vries, who was released from hospital yesterday, said he was now “well on the road to recovery”, but added: “If they hadn’t had the anti-venom I’d have been in serious trouble.”

He warned anyone who saw a snake not to approach it. “I think people should know how dangerous these adders are,” he said. Mr de Vries thanked the staff at York Hospital, and a passing motorist who drove him and his sons to his wife in Pocklington after the incident. “They really were fantastic,” he said. The bite came just weeks after a woman saw an adder sunning itself on a footpath on Strensall Common, near York, while exercising her daughter’s two dogs.

Stuart Burgess, of the Forestry Commission, said: “Adders are relatively common in areas of rough, open countryside and are often associated with the edges of woodland.

“Adders are not aggressive animals – they will only bite as a last means of defence, usually if caught or trodden on.

“Most people who are bitten were handling the snake, so treat adders with respect and leave them alone.”

More information can be found on the Forestry Commission website at forestry.gov.uk/forestry/adder