Health News

Sep 14, 2012 8:26 PM by David Ortiviz

Antivenom saves 10-month old who ate black widow

Parents know kids have a knack for sticking things in their mouths they shouldn't, but imagine if your 10-month old ate a black widow spider. It happened to a family in Pueblo this week and the infant's condition was so serious, he had to be airlifted to a Denver hospital.

Today, little William Cipriani is crawling, walking and moving around like any active and curious 10-month old. "He's at that stage now where everything goes in his mouth," said Jaime Cipriani, William's mother.

So Monday afternoon, when Jaime and her husband Jason noticed something black in William's mouth they weren't that alarmed. "Oh no a bug again," said Jaime. But this was no ordinary bug. William had eaten a black widow spider.

"Did he get bit, what's going on," asked Jaime. Soon the little guy was in a world of pain. "His stomach was killing him. He was throwing himself, kicking his legs and just screaming," said Jaime.

The couple rushed William to St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, but Jason says they were told he had to be airlifted to Denver to get anitvenom to treat him.

"We both grew up believing and being taught black widow bites are deadly," said Jason. "It was really scary," added Jaime.

"Fortunately most spider bites are very benign," said Dr. Patrick Sanifer, Director of ER at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center. However, Dr. Sanifer says black widows are the exception. "Probably the most dangerous spider in the area," he said.

Dr. Sanifer says rarely have black widow bites caused deaths even in children, however if you're bitten by one he says seek immediate care. Symptoms can be severe. "Tingling and numbness. Sweating. Your heart rate can go up. You can have severe abdominal pain," said Dr. Sanifer.



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