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Spider bite led to leg being amputated, woman says

A mother of three in West Memphis, Arkansas, says a spider bite ended up costing her a leg."I was seeing my li...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 6:08 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 6:08 AM

A mother of three in West Memphis, Arkansas, says a spider bite ended up costing her a leg.

"I was seeing my little cousins off to prom and their dad was like, 'Why are you limping? What's going on?' " Kiara Boulton told CNN affiliate WREG. "So I showed him my foot and said 'I think I got bit by a spider.' And he's like, 'Well what kind do you think it is?' And I said, 'a brown recluse.' "

Brown recluse spiders are common throughout the central and Midwestern United States

Experts say the bites typically heal after being cleaned and monitored by a doctor

A diabetic since she was 10 years old, Boulton went to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was instructed to visit her primary care physician who prescribed her medication for the bite, she told WREG.

Boulton told WREG that her toe became black three days after the bite. She returned to the hospital and was told it had to be amputated, one of seven surgeries Boulton said are a result of the spider bite.

The hospital was unable to speak directly about Boulton's case.

"Saint Francis-Memphis is committed to the health and well-being of our community," the hospital said in a statement. "While we are unable to comment on a particular patient's case due to privacy laws, after a hospitalization or emergency room visit, it is vitally important for patients to follow their discharge instructions, take prescribed medications and attend all follow-up care appointments as part of their journey to recovery."

To help her get through the ordeal, Boulton told WREG, she said to herself "three kids, Kiara. Three.

"God wouldn't have let you have them if you weren't supposed to be here for them. Fight through this. Fight through the pain."

Treating and preventing spider bites

Brown recluse spiders are commonly found throughout the central and midwestern United States, said Neelendra Joshi, an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas Department of Entomology.

A bite from a brown recluse spider can be fatal in rare instances, but the spiders are typically not as aggressive as other species, Joshi said. But they will bite when they're trapped against our skin, he said.

"They have necrotic venom and as you see that's pretty poisonous and that can result in the premature death of blood cells," Joshi said. "It's considered one of the most poisonous house spiders in the United States."

After a spider bite occurs, the victim might or might not feel pain within a few minutes or hours. A rash can surround the bite and potentially spread to the rest of the body. The central dark area of the rash is what causes the tissue to die.

Treatment for brown recluse spider bites will be targeted for specific symptoms, such as antibiotics to treat infection or antihistamines to treat itching.

Dr. Donna Seger, Tennessee Poison Center medical director and professor of clinical medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said bites should be washed and allowed to air dry.

"There are a lot of urban legends about spider bites," Seger said, adding that she has seen patients slather on tobacco, coffee grounds and horse salve in her 30 years of treating spider bites.

After a bite, a small number of people will have a systemic reaction that will cause a fever, rash and the breakdown of red blood cells, Seger said. That can require a blood transfusion.

She recommends checking in with a doctor to confirm the type of bite and make sure it's healing properly.

However, people with diabetes have an entirely different immune system in healing, Seger cautioned.

"If you're talking about any kind of lesion or any type of skin disruption in a diabetic, they have a much higher chance of amputations," said Seger, who was not involved in Boulton's treatment. "Amputations themselves happen in diabetics without any type of cut or lesion."

To prevent spider bites, Joshi recommends removing spider webs and clutter, controlling various household insects and sealing crevices and openings between walls and corners to control spider populations. As additional protection, people can use sticky traps, chemical spray or dust insecticides that continue to work for extended amounts of time.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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