I’ve had extensive training as an Emergency Medical Technician Basic. I have been trained to deal with and treat medical emergencies before the patient or victim is seen by a doctor. Emergengies can be major or minor. Some emergengies may consist of something very minor such as an insect bite. No matter how small the emergency is, the patient still has a right to be treated before the situation worsens. When working in the emergency room you can come in contact with all types of situations. During the summer months, many people come to the emergency room with complaints such as allergic reactions, insect bites, and snake bites. It is very important for me as an EMT to distinguish the difference of these bites. It is important for the doctor in knowing how the bites can be treated. Most important of all is the patient’s well being, the care, and treatment.
Some spider bites are bad and some are not. Some can do extensive damage to the tissues and can be very dangerous. Some spiders may even be deadly. The key to determining which spiders have a deadly bite and which do not all comes in understanding if the spider is poisonous or not. There are more than 38,000 different species of spiders. Spiders can be found living in many habitats on earth. Spiders are not found surviving in the ocean, on high mountain tops, or the North or South poles. Spiders have been found living near the ocean or in corals near the edge of the ocean. Spiders are known to live in any area of the house. All spiders are known to have venom. Most spiders that have venom is not strong enough to be dangerous to humans. Spiders are known to eat annoying pests such as mosquitoes. The important thing to know is that all spiders do bite.
Some spiders can be very dangerous to humans. Some commonly known venomous spiders are he Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. The most dangerous venomous spider in the Unted States is the Black Widow. How to determine a black widow bite is easy. The bite on the skin will show a red marking in the shape of an hour glass. Black widows have been found in tropical climates. They have been found as far north as Canada. The brown recluse is another dangerous spider. The spider bite of the brown recluse can be very damaging to the skin tissues of the victim. The bite will destroy tissue and be very painful for hours after the bite has occurred.
In the United States, in the state of Florida, there are four types of widow spiders and they are the Northern Black Widow, Southern Black Widow, Red Widow Spider, and Brown Widow Spider. Determining a type of bite also involves the location of the patient and where the spider comes from. If these spider bites are not treated they can cause serious damage and complications. A brown widow bite is usually red at the site and feverish. It wil cause swelling, high blood pressure, cold sweats, pain in the muscles, blurred vision, headache and shortness of breath. Spider bites may be serious enough to send the victim into anaphylactic shock. They can lead to death if not treated.
Emergency treatment of a spider bite will include:
1. Wash he bite with soap and water.
2.Apply a cool compress, this helps with the pain and swelling.
3. Take an over the counter medication to control pain or itching.
4. Go to the emergency room if the bite is serious.
Antibiotics will be prescribed if the wound becomes infected. Antibiotics will not be helpful if there is no infection.
5. Do not cut, lance, or apply suction to the bite area. This is the job o a doctor.
6. Monitor the bite for redness, swelling, pain, or infection.
7. Consult your doctor if symptoms are not improving.
I hope this article was helpful in first aid for spider bites. If you are in doubt about any bite, please go to the emergency room. Your health and well being is what matters most.