In 2014, a black mark appears on a little boy’s leg, accompanied by pain and swelling, his parents are concerned and rush him to the nearest hospital where doctors examine the mark. Upon inspection, Doctors fear that the mark may be cancerous but this initial diagnosis is soon ruled out and the little boy is sent home to wait for further testing. Neither the parents nor the doctors have any idea that little boy has been bitten by a brown recluse spider. During the course of the next few days, the venom spreads though the little boy’s body and his pain and swelling intensifies. His distraught parents rush him back to the hospital where he is later admitted. Two days later, the boy undergoes emergency surgery. He never regains consciousness and passes away less than 24 hours later. That same year, another little boy is rushed to the emergency room after being bitten by a brown recluse spider that was hiding in his pajama top. The little boy went into cardiac arrest as a direct result of the venom. After multiple attempts at resuscitation, he later dies.
Emergency Department Death from a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Systemic Loxoscelism
Although extremely rare, this type of reaction to a brown recluse spider bite is referred to as a systemic loxoscelism. The condition occurs when the spider venom binds to the red blood cells and causes extreme symptoms within 24 to 72 hours after the initial bite. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, nausea, weakness, aching muscles and joint pain, jaundice, blood in urine, kidney failure, shock, seizures and coma. A reaction of this nature is more common in children and intensive medical intervention is necessary although sadly it may not always result in saving the life of the child.
Identification & Dangers of the Brown Recluse Spider in San Antonio, Texas
The brown recluse spider is one of the most venomous spiders found in central and southern United States. The adult spider may vary in color between dull yellow to a coppery dark brown. Young spiders are generally a lighter color than the adult specimens. Adults can measure as much as 1/2 of an inch in length. The most obvious sign of the brown recluse is the presence of a violin-shaped mark on the abdomen of the spider. Because of this mark, the brown recluse spider is commonly referred to as the fiddle-back spider. As the name suggest, brown recluse spiders prefer dark and secluded areas including closets, boxes, woodpiles and porches. It is most active at night and bites generally occur when the spider feels trapped or becomes agitated otherwise it is not generally aggressive toward humans. Children are the highest risk of suffering a bite with a serious reaction to a brown recluse spider.
Symptoms of a Brown Recluse Spider Bite
If you live in San Antonio, Texas and your child complains of a painful bite or sting, you should be aware of the following symptoms:
Brown Recluse Spider Bite Treatment
If you or your child begins to experience symptoms with a brown recluse spider bite, wash the area of the bite with soap and water then place a cold compress on the site before going to the emergency room. In some cases necrosis or tissue damage can occur at the bite of the site. There are many other conditions that can be mistaken for a spider bites including reactions to medication, bacterial infections such as staph and Lyme disease so it’s good to consult with a Doctor, especially if you didn’t see the spider that bit you.