“Red Back” Spider Bite and Magnesium Sulphate Treatment

A Clinical Study of Four Cases

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  • Cagayan Mission Hospital, Oriental Misamis, Philippine Islands

Spiders are found everywhere, and though the majority are harmless the few that are poisonous are often underestimated in their harmfulness. Of the poisonous varieties, the Latrodectus mactans, more commonly called in the United States of America the “Black Widow” (because of its color which is shiny black and its habit of killing its mate), and the clinical manifestations following its bite, are familiar to American and Latin American physicians because of the prevalence of the spider in the United States, especially in the southern and western states, and in South America. Bogen (1) states that 150 cases have been reported by thirty physicians in the United States alone.

I wish to invite the attention of those who are interested in the clinical aspect of spider bite to a special kind of poisonous spider commonly found in some parts of the Philippines, particularly Mindanao and neighboring islands.