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<< Bites and Stings Snakes, Spiders, and Scorpions in the United States

Spiders: Disposition

Latrodectus

Patients who present to the emergency department with a black widow spider bite may be observed for four to six hours for development of symptoms. Asymptomatic patients may then be discharged for further observation at home. Patients with muscle pain and cramping should not be sent home until their pain is controlled. Some patients will require hospital admission for continued treatment with intravenous opioids and benzodiazepines. It should be noted that these patients will often complain of malaise or other vague complaints for the next two to four weeks.6

Loxoceles

Most patients with brown recluse spider bites can be discharged home from the emergency department with adequate pain control and good follow-up for wound care. In the rare occasion of systemic toxicity, the patient should be hospitalized for intensive supportive care until their symptoms of nausea, vomiting, malaise, rash, fever, arthralgias, thrombocytopenia, and hemolysis have been treated and resolved.

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Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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