St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Funnel-web spider bite

    This article describes the effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous than females.

    This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

    Poisonous Ingredient

    • Funnel-web spider venom

    Where Found

    Funnel-web spiders are found in southeast Australia, around Sydney. They are not native to the United States, although some people may keep them as exotic pets.

    Symptoms

    Funnel-web spider bites are extremely painful. They usually cause tingling or numbness in the mouth or lips within 10 - 15 minutes. These bites can be very dangerous and have been known to cause all of the following symptoms:

    • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
      • Drooling
      • Drooping eyelids
      • Double vision
      • Swallowing difficulty
    • Heart and blood
      • Collapse
      • High blood pressure
      • Rapid heart rate
    • Lungs
      • Difficulty breathing
    • Muscles and joints
      • Joint pain
      • Severe muscle spasms -- usually in the legs and belly area
    • Nervous system
      • Agitation
      • Confusion
      • Coma
      • Headache
      • Numbness of mouth and lips
      • Tremors
      • Shivering (chills)
    • Skin
      • Redness around the site of bite
      • Sweating -- excessive
    • Stomach and intestines
      • Diarrhea
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting

    Home Care

    Funnel-web spider bites are extremely poisonous. Seek immediate medical attention. Call the Poison Control Center for guidance. Apply a bandage and firm pressure over the bite, and keep the affected area still, if possible, to prevent the venom from spreading. "It may help to use a homemade splint to keep affected area still if the bite occurred on your arms, legs, hands or feet.

    Loosen clothing and remove rings and other tight jewelry.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Time the bite occurred
    • Type of spider, if possible

    Poison Control

    The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

    This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

    What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The wound will be treated as appropriate.

    The patient may receive:

    • Breathing support
    • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
    • Medications to treat symptoms
    • Antivenin medication, if available

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Funnel-web spider bites can be life threatening, especially in children, and must be treated quickly with antivenin by an experienced doctor. Even with appropriate and timely treatment symptoms may persist for several days to weeks.

    References

    Boyer LV, Binford GJ, McNally JT. Spider bites. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 46.

    Clark RF, Schneir AB. Arthropod bites and stings. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 194.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Arthropods, basic featur...

      illustration

    • Arachnids, basic feature...

      illustration

      • Arthropods, basic featur...

        illustration

      • Arachnids, basic feature...

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Talking to your MD

          Review Date: 12/15/2011

          Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile