Woman rushed to hospital for horrific false widow spider bite on knuckle

A woman's horror false widow spider bite was mistaken for a midge's nibble until her entire arm had swollen up.

An afternoon of sunbathing in a city park landed Tracey Hamilton in hospital overnight a few days later for emergency treatment.

What started as an itchy knuckle, Tracey assumed had been caused by a common bug, ended in her being placed on a drip as antibiotics battled with spider venom.

A doctor told the 50-year-old from Bishopbriggs, Scotland that she had been bitten by a false widow spider not once but twice, Daily Record reports.

Tracey first took her swollen arm to hospital for antibiotics, but was told she may even need surgery to clean underneath her hand and prevent the spider venom from spreading into her bones.

She said: "After blood had been taken they told me a plastic surgeon would be round to see me – I gasped, I thought they had gotten me mixed up with another patient.

"My legs were jelly and all of sudden it hit me it was serious and I felt helpless.

"I thought it was midge bites – how wrong I was."

Tracey went out to a local park near her home in Bishopbriggs to sunbathe in the afternoon of Thursday July 1.

She said: "I sat at top of the hill for the view and I wasn't far from the long grass and trees.

"I took out my blanket, off came my shoes and socks and I took a few pictures of the view.

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"I was sunbathing for about one hour and I only saw wee beasties, some normal Scottish midges."

After she got up to leave about half an hour later, she started to feel a small itch on her knuckle but didn't think much of it at the time.

At about 8pm she started to feel nauseous and dizzy so took herself to bed, but when she woke up the next morning she knew something was wrong.

She said: "My hand and my upper arm had swollen up and was also itchy,

"I thought had had a bad reaction to whatever wee Scottish beasty, a midge or something."

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She called the doctor and explained that she believed she had been bitten by something, so she was sent to the pharmacy to pick up an antihistamine.

"I thought I'd be fine after I'd taken one or two tablets," the mum-of-three said.

"On the Saturday I woke up and found my whole hand, my wrist, my knuckles and halfway up my arm was totally numb.

"It had swollen up and was very red, I also had blisters on my knuckle and my upper arm."

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She then went to the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow where the doctors examined her bites.

She said: "They said I would need to be put on a strong antibiotic and I said ok, thinking it was just a tablet and I'd go home, but nope it was intravenous drip."

A surgeon told her that she had been bitten twice by a Noble false widow – a spider common to the UK that ranges between seven and 14mm in length and has a venomous bite.

Bus driver Tracey remained in the hospital ward that evening, but was told she may need to be taken in for surgery to clean underneath the bite and check her knuckle bone hadn't been infected.

Fortunately, the next morning the antibiotics had reduced the swelling and she could move her hand, meaning surgery was not necessary.

She was sent home on Monday July 5 with a weeks worth of antibiotics to eradicate the infection completely, but Tracey wants her story to be a warning.

She said: "I thought I'd had a bad allergic reaction to a midge, but we do have venomous spiders that can harm.

"I'd like to share my story to others to raise awareness of the special dangers of spiders locally."

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