Boy Survives Spider Bite With Record Dose of Antivenom

The spider is now helping to replenish stocks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2017 2:33 AM CST
Boy Saved by 'Incredible' Amount of Spider Antivenom
Not something you want to find in your shoe.   (Tirin/Wikimedia Commons)

A 10-year-old boy in Australia survived a bite from one of the world's deadliest spiders thanks to a quick-thinking dad—and a record-breaking amount of antivenom. Matthew Mitchell was working with his father in a shed at their home around 60 miles north of Sydney when he was bitten by a funnel-web spider lurking in a shoe, the Australian Associated Press reports. His father used a T-shirt for a tourniquet and rushed the boy to the nearest medical facility as he started having seizures. He was given 12 vials of antivenom, which Australian Reptile Park GM Tim Faulkner says is an "incredible" amount.

The bite would have easily killed an adult without antivenom, and the fact that Matthew was able to walk out of the hospital a day later with no effects "is a testament to the antivenom," Faulkner says. A normal dose is three to five vials, and the amount Matthew received is believed to be the biggest in Australian history, 9News reports. Faulkner says the boy will get the park's "Spider-Man Award for Bravery." As for the funnel-web spider, it was captured by Matthew's father—and is now at the reptile park, where it's being used by the park's "milking" program to create more antivenom. (After two very unfortunate spider encounters, this Aussie is steering clear of portable toilets.)

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