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Deadly critter is saving lives

The deadliest spider in Australia is the Funnel Web Spider, contributing to 13 deaths but thankfully none since 1981 when the antivenom was made available.


In an Australian medical breakthrough, scientists have discovered the venom of the deadly funnel-web spider could be used to treat heart attack victims.


The venom of the Fraser Island funnel-web could prevent the death of heart muscle cells, minimising the damage done to the heart and possibly keeping it alive longer, researchers say.


The discovery builds on a similar breakthrough using the same spider venom. Queensland scientists recently identified a molecule that can prevent brain damage during a stroke and are exploring what else it can do.



FIRST AID MANAGEMENT FOR A FUNNEL WEB SPIDER BITE


Despite the availability of an effective antivenom, correct and immediate first aid is still an essential requirement for funnel-web spider (and mouse spider) envenomation. The recommended first aid technique is pressure/immobilisation (as for snake bite) and this must be done as quickly as possible.The pressure/immobilisation technique compresses surface tissues and reduces muscle movement, greatly slowing the lymphatic flow.


Sources:

https://www.9news.com.au/national/funnel-web-venom-heart-attack-queensland-save-lives-medical-breakthrough-deadly-spider-australia-news/5196a70a-4632-45d3-a972-f3fec7fb9e17


https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/spiders/spider-facts/


Funnel Web Spider


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