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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotising Fasciitis From A Brown Recluse Spider

Necrotising Fasciitis From A Brown Recluse Spider

There are cases in medical literature of people developing necrotising fasciitis after being bitten by a brown recluse spider.

Necrotising fasciitis after a spider bite

Brown recluse spiders are normally found in America and have a poisonous bite. The venom that is released from the spider can kill young children and make adults seriously unwell. This is because the venom causes the tissue to become necrotic. It can then lead to a secondary infection called necrotising fasciitis, where toxins inside the body result in widespread tissue death.

Brown recluse spiders have been associated with a number of cases of necrotising fasciitis. However, they are by no means the only spider bite that can lead to necrotising fasciitis. In 2014, a women in the North of England contracted necrotising fasciitis after being bitten on the finger by a false widow spider. This may happen because the spider itself is infected, or because bacteria enter through the spider bite and create an infection.

Recognising a necrotic spider bite

If a spider bite does lead to necrotising fasciitis, it must be diagnosed and treated immediately. Sometimes the patient will delay seeking medical attention. The spider bite itself may be painless, and even when a blister appears most people assume that it is an insect bite of some sort that does not require any treatment.

This is an understandable attitude, particularly in the UK where venomous insects are rare. But if further symptoms appear, medical attention must be sought immediately. Symptoms associated with necrotising fasciitis include a fever, severe pain at the site of the bite, and skin that is red and hot to touch. These symptoms are indicative of infection and medical practitioners should recognise that the bite has become infected.

Treating a necrotic spider bite

Once an infection is suspected, intravenous antibiotics must be administered to kill off the bacteria. The necrotic tissue must also be surgically cut away. A sample can be sent to the laboratory for testing, and this will confirm necrotising fasciitis. Further treatment can then be given accordingly. This might involve more surgical debridement, organ support or skin grafts.

This treatment is needed on an emergency basis or the tissue death could be severe. Indeed, the woman who was bitten by a false widow spider lost her finger. Others have lost entire limbs. Some will become critically unwell with multi-system organ failure.

Necrotising fasciitis claims

If a spider bite becomes infected with necrotising fasciitis but medical practitioners fail to diagnose and treat the condition, there could be a case of medical negligence. Please contact us to find out more.

Legal advice

For more information on necrotizing fasciitis medical negligence, please get in touch with us today.

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