TREAT A BLACK WIDOW SPIDER BITE
a. Keep Casualty Warm. Keep the casualty quiet and warm.
b. Cleanse Wound. Cleanse the wound (bite punctures) with an antiseptic
solution from your aid bag. If an antiseptic solution is not available, cleanse the area
with soap and water. Do not cut the puncture wounds.
c. Supportive Care. Support the casualty with analgesic and respiratory
support, if needed.
d. Evacuate Casualty. Evacuate the casualty to a medical treatment facility.
Continue to monitor the casualty's vital signs. Be ready to treat the casualty for
anaphylactic shock should it develop.
IDENTIFY BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER BITES
The brown recluse spider is primarily found in the southern and central parts of
the US. It prefers to stay in grass, weeds, rocky bluffs, cellars, under rocks,
and in woodpiles. It will also seek refuge in blankets, bedrolls, shoes, clothing, or loose
materials. The brown recluse spider prefers to stay hidden and is generally
nonaggressive. However, it will bite if disturbed.
a. Physical Characteristics of Brown Recluse Spiders. The brown recluse
spider is dull brown in color with a distinctive dark brown area on its back that
resembles a violin or fiddle (figure 2-2). This marking has given rise to another common
name for the spider--the fiddle-back spider. The body of the brown recluse spider is
about 3/8ths of an inch in length.
b. Signs and Symptoms of a Brown Recluse Spider Bite. The bite of a
brown recluse spider may not result in immediate symptoms. Several hours may elapse
between the bite and the onset of symptoms. Signs and symptoms of a brown recluse
spider bite are given below.
(1) Mild to severe pain. (Pain usually begins 1 to 8 hours after the bite.
There is very little, if any, immediate pain at the time of the bite.)
Chills, nausea, and/or vomiting during first few hours following the bite.
(3) Bite site becomes red, swollen, and tender. The center becomes pale
and a small blister may develop.