First Aid - Spider Bites - Symptoms
A Pressure Immobilisation Bandage (PIB)
Quick action saves lives a PIB must be applied ASAP after a Funnel-web spider bite or from any large black spider suspect. IF PIB applied and medical attention obtained quickly - then a few days recovery time in hospital is required in most cases.
A medical emergency Funnel-web venom acts very quickly - the PIB compresses tiny blood vessels and lymph channels - retards lymphatic spread of venom into blood stream and vital organs - promotes local destruction of venom - very effective as long as patient is kept still.


Symptoms of a Funnel-Web Spider Bite

The person feels great pain at the site of the bite unlike snake bites.
Nausea and abdominal pain follow.
Difficulty in breathing is also experienced by the person and a general weakness or numbness of the muscles.
The body also secretes heavily in several areas.
Profuse sweating is usually obvious, along with excessive saliva production.
Heavy coughing is also common.
Virtually all major hospitals in "Funnel-web Country" carry an effective anti-venom.
Provided a pressure / immobilisation method has been applied soon after the bite and medical attention sought quickly, a few days in the hospital is the usual outcome with complete recovery.

Sydney Funnel-web Spider Bite FIrst Aid

Keep the patient calm - don't panic - avoid excitement - avoid undue movement of patient - reassure the patient - a Funnel-web spider anti-venom is readily available.
A PRESSURE IMMOBILISATION BANDAGE be firmly applied (but not tight) wrapping entire limb bitten - as tight as for a sprained ankle.
Call AMBULANCE dial 000. Seek medical aid immediately.
A second bandage be applied to further immobilise the affected limb, using a splint. Keep the patient still.
If safe to do so, collect the spider for identification.

Symptoms of Venomous Spider Bites

The fangs of a Red-Back Spider are tiny and it's bite may often go unnoticed, but, often a sharp pin-prick may be felt. This is generally followed by severe pain at the site of the bite, leading to more general pain.
Other symptoms of venomous spider bites include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, and partial loss of muscle control.
Sweating occurs in varying degrees, particularly around site of the bite.
Swelling of the affected area is common, as is a quickening of the heart-beat.

Red-back / other Spider Bites First Aid

Do NOT bandage - except for Funnel-web spider bite. The venom of Red-back and other spider bites will move very slowly - any restriction causes excruciating pain.
Keep the patient calm - don't panic - avoid excitement - avoid undue movement of patient - reassure the patient - a Red-back spider bite anti-venom is readily available.
Use an ICE-PACK (wrapped in cloth) on bite site - to help reduce pain and swelling around the bite site.
Medical First Aid should be sought immediately. If safe to do so, take the spider to the hospital for identification.
If serious symptoms exist - call AMBULANCE dial 000.

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Web Links to Common Australian Spiders and Venomous Spider Bites Advice

   Spiders Identification and Habitat
Some Local Australian Spiders - Fact Sheet
Spiders of the ACT - CSIRO
Common Spiders in the Darwin Area - NT Government
Funnel-web Spiders - Fact Sheet - Queensland Museum
Redback Spiders and Brown Widow Spiders - Fact Sheet - Queensland Museum
Huntsman Spiders - Fact Sheet - Queensland Museum
Golden Orb-weaving Spiders - Fact Sheet - Queensland Museum
Hidden Housemates: the Australian Redback Spider - Australian Geographic
Redback spiders - Schools Activites Resource - Pearson Australia
Enjoy the Hunstman Spiders in Your Backyard -
   Venomous Spider Bites - First Aid & Treatment
Spiders - Victoria Dept of Health: Better Health Channel
A Clinician's Guide to Australian Venomous Bites and Stings
Spider Bite: First Aid - St John Ambulance
Spider Bites: Assessment and Management - Australian Family Physician
Spider Bite: A Current Approach to Management - Australian Prescriber
Funnel Web and Redback Spider Bites - First Aid Advice - Ambulance Services of NSW
Mouse Spider Bites and their Medical Importance - Medical Journal of Australia
Snakebite and Spiderbite Clinical Management Guidelines 2013 - NSW Dept of Health
Spider cleared of causing flesh-eating ulcer - News in Science - ABC TV
Venomous Bites & Stings - Victoria Health Dept
Summary FIRST AID Funnel Web / Mouse Spider Bites
Venomous Spider Bite Precautions - NSW Ambulance
Venomous Spider Bite First Aid - Dr GK Isbister, Charles Darwin University, NT
White Tailed Spider - First Aid - Victoria Health Dept
Red Back Spider Anti-venom - Victoria Health Dept
Funnel Web Spider Anti-venom - Victoria Heath Dept
First Aid - Spider Bites - Western Australia Govt
Funnel Web Spider bite clinical flow chart
First Aid - Bites & Stings - Queensland Health Dept
Poisonous Bites & Stings - Westmead Hospital NSW
Funnel Web Spider Bite - Pressure Immobilisation Method - Qld Health Dept
Funnelweb & Mouse Spider Bites - Australian Resuscitation Council
DRSABCD Resuscitation - NSW St Johns Ambulance
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