Arkansas Woman Loses Leg After Alleged Bite From Brown Recluse Spider

An Arkansas mother of three claims a bite from a brown recluse spider ended up costing her a leg.

A mother of three from West Memphis, Arkansas, claims that a bite from the infamous brown recluse spider has left her without a leg, after her limb became gangrenous following a spider bite and had to be amputated reports Fox News, citing WREG.

Kiara Boulton told the media that she had to undergo seven surgeries on her left leg and was eventually forced to have the limb amputated from above the knee after she rushed to the hospital to get treatment for an alleged spider bite.

The Arkansas woman, who has been a diabetic since the age of 10, said she began to limp after noticing a spider bite on her foot and checked into the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to get the bite treated.

The hospital instructed Boulton to see her primary care physician, who prescribed her antibiotics for the bite, she told WREG. Three days later, one of her toes turned black and needed to be amputated — the first in a series of sever surgical interventions that eventually led to the amputation of Boulton’s left leg.

The woman is adamant that her whole ordeal was brought on by a bite from a brown recluse spider, although the doctors couldn’t confirm the spider bite as the cause of the gangrene and subsequent limb amputation.

While the hospital was unable to comment directly on Boulton’s case due to privacy laws, notes CNN, the medical facility did issue a statement stressing the importance of following “discharge instructions, take prescribed medications and attend all follow-up care appointments as part of their journey to recovery” after a visit to the emergency room or being admitted into the hospital.

At the same time, world-class entomologist Rick Vetter, a retired professor from the University of California, Riverside, told Yahoo Lifestyle that spider bites are “widely misdiagnosed by doctors.”

“There is no way to test spider venom in part because the beads lodged under the skin are so minuscule, and doctors often diagnose based on ruling out other conditions and self-reports from patients,” said Vetter, adding that poison control centers don’t always have accurate data on spider bites because the people who report them often give out incomplete information.

The fact that Boulton suffers from diabetes may also be significant in her particular case, notes Fox News, citing Healthline. In some situations, diabetes can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes a narrowing of the blood vessels and “reduces blood flow to your legs and feet.” This, in turn, slows down the process of wound healing, making the body vulnerable to infection.

“Tissue damage or death (gangrene) may occur [in the case of PAD], and any existing infection may spread to your bone,” explains Healthline.

At the same time, the venom of brown recluse spiders can also cause tissue death, or necrosis, in extreme cases. These spiders are endemic to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and are known to cause fatalities — although these cases are rare.

The brown recluse spider is “considered one of the most poisonous house spiders in the United States,” says Neelendra Joshi, an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas Department of Entomology.

“They have necrotic venom and, as you see, that’s pretty poisonous and that can result in the premature death of blood cells,” Joshi explained in a statement.

Earlier this month, a Tennessean woman was hospitalized after being bit by a brown recluse spider multiple times and she later went home to find 50 more of the arachnids in her apartment, as reported by the Inquisitr.

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