It Wasn't Just A Bruise: A Black Widow's Bite Sent A 5-Year-Old Girl To Hospital. What To Do In Such Situations?
August 15, 2018 14:40 By Fabiosa
It was not just a bruise
When Kristine Donovan noticed a purple spot on the back of her 5-year-old daughter’s knee, she thought it was a bruise. Later, it turned out the dark spot was something much more serious.
When Kaylin developed a fever, her parents took the girl to her pediatrician, who sent her to the ER right away.
There, the doctors identified the purple spot and other Kaylin’s symptoms as a reaction to a spider bite, but they didn’t know which specific spider bit her. They gave the girl antibiotics and sent her home.
Kaylin’s fever subsided, but the site of the bite looked infected. It looked dark, and the area around the bite was red and inflamed. As TODAY reported, Kaylin’s parents took her to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where Dr. William Durbin, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, concluded the girl was most likely bitten by a black widow.
The infected wound was treated with antibiotics, and Kaylin is doing fine now. Her mother urges other parents to listen to their gut feeling when something is not right with their kids and seek further treatment if they are in doubt.
How to recognize symptoms of a black widow’s bite and what to do if you've been bitten
Black widows tend to avoid humans, but they may bite if you accidentally disturb them. Being bitten by this spider feels like being pricked, but some people may not feel the bite at all.
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Symptoms caused by a black widow’s bite range in severity. They may include the following:
- swelling and redness around the bite;
- muscle aches and stiffness;
- nausea, sometimes with vomiting;
- abdominal pain and cramps;
- difficulty breathing;
- a general weakness;
- sweating profusely.
Children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe reaction.
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If you suspect that you or someone around you has been bitten by a black widow, seek immediate medical help.
While waiting for help, you can use these tips to relieve symptoms and lower the risk of infection:
- wash the bite with soap under running water;
- apply a cold washcloth or an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the bite (but don’t hold it for longer than 10 minutes);
- if the bite is on a leg or arm, keep the affected limb elevated.
Remember, the most important thing here is to get medical help as fast as possible. Stay safe!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.