First aid for redback spider bites

A Red-Back spider bite can be life threatening to a child, but apart from the pain it is rarely serious for an adult.

They are common in dry places around buildings, outdoor furniture, machinery and stacked materials. In the bush, they nest under logs and rocks.

What to do

  1. Follow DRSABCD St John WA Action Plan.
  2. Lay the casualty down, rest and reassure.
  3. Monitor the casualty constantly.
  4. Apply a cold compress/cold pack to lessen the pain (no longer than twenty (20) minutes).
  5. Seek medical aid promptly, if:
    • Person bitten is a young child, elderly, or infirmed.
    • The casualty collapses.
    • Pain is severe.

Caused by

  • Spider biting and puncturing the skin.

Signs and symptoms

  • Immediate pain at the bite site which becomes hot, red, and swollen.
  • Intense local pain which increases and spreads.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Profuse sweating, especially at the bite site.
  • Swelling of glands in the groin or armpit of the limb that was bitten.