Brown Recluse Spider Bites - KOAM TV 7


Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Spring and fall are often an active time of year for Brown Recluse Spiders to be out and about.  Although usually shy, they can become more aggressive during these time periods. These spiders tend to hide in undisturbed areas such as shelves or boxes, and storage areas for out-of-season clothing.  Bites usually occur when hiding places are disturbed.

Brown recluse spider bites may not be immediately apparent.  It's only after skin changes begin that a victim may be aware of a problem.  The amount of venom injected by the spider and the victim's sensitivity are both factors in determining the seriousness of the bite.

The first sign of a bite is redness in the involved area followed in two to twelve hours by a dusky appearance of the skin.  An area of paleness or "halo" will then be evident.  The area of duskiness will eventually die leading to an open wound or ulcer.  These wounds can take several weeks to heal.  Initial treatment should include rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  Antibiotics and tetanus toxoid may also be prescribed along with medications to reduce pain.                                     

The physicians and staff at The Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine in Neodesha, KS can dramatically reduce the length of time it may take for these wounds to heal.  When treated within 72 hours of the bite, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce the amount of tissue death by increasing the oxygen levels supplied to the tissue.  If treated within 12 hours of the bite the possibility of actually inactivating the venom exists.  If the bite is older than 72 hours aggressive wound care is still indicated with the possibility of skin grafting being necessary.  Medicare and some private insurances may cover treatment.

Please don't hesitate to call us at 1-888-603-1333 if you, a family member, or friend has been bitten by a brown recluse spider.  Seeking prompt medical treatment is the best way to reduce the amount of tissue destruction that can occur when bitten.

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