First Aid/Spider Bites?

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Question
In an emergency, how should I treat a spider bite?

Answer
Hello Camila,

It depends a lot on what kind of spider bit you (or if it was actually a spider). Many times people wrongly accuse the spider as the one doing all the biting. Spiders actually try to avoid biting if at all possible and save the risk of biting a human vs being killed by that human for occasions like protection of her eggs or imminent threat of being killed. Spiders like the Black widow and Brown recluse should be seen and treated by a doctor. General treatment for spider bites can include many of the same remedies as other bug bites; benadryl cream, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream. For the above mentioned Black widow and Brown recluse additional medications such as IV Calcium gluconate are given. Brown recluses bites specifically are known for producing large areas of necrosis (tissue death) and scaring. Here is a quick link from the Mayo Clinic also describing general treatment of bites.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-spider-bites/basics/art-20056618

I hope that answer helped. Stay well.

Marc

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Marcus LaBarbera

Expertise

I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.

Experience

I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

Education/Credentials
I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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