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Brown Widow Spider

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US Army First Aid Manual
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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus Geometricus)

Brown Widow SpiderThe brown widow is one of five United States species of the widow family. It is primarily found in Florida. It is venomous, and has a neurotoxin like that of the black widow. Although it injects less venom than the black widow.

Venom

Brown widow venom is primarily a neurotoxin, which as a rule does not cause local tissue death and destruction. Best known for widespread muscle spasm and often mimics that of a severe abdominal problem i.e. acute appendicitis, or ruptured ovarian cyst.

Brown Widow SpiderThe initial bite is very painful, but can go unnoticed. The surface of the skin may display two red bite wounds, one, or none. The worst pain is in the first 8-12 hours, symptoms may continue for several days.

All children, pregnant women and individuals with hypertension should be admitted to a hospital.

Antivenom is available.

Treatment in an Outdoor Setting:

  • Clean and irrigate the wound.
  • Application of ice or cool compresses.
  • Pain medication, muscle relaxants if available.
  • Transport immediately.

Photos by: Mary Leckie




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