Australia’s ‘biggest ever’ antivenom dose saves boy bitten by funnel web spider
NSW central coast schoolboy, aged 10, was given 12 vials of antivenom after he was bitten by a male spider hiding in a shoe
A 10-year-old NSW central coast boy is lucky to be alive after a deadly funnel web spider bite necessitated what is believed to be the largest dose of antivenom administered in Australian history.
Matthew Mitchell was rushed to Gosford hospital after he was bitten on the finger by the male funnel web, which was hiding inside a shoe, on Monday.
He was given 12 vials of antivenom an unheard-of amount and an Australian record, according to the Australian Reptile Park general manager, Tim Faulkner.
Ive never heard of it, its incredible, he told AAP on Friday. And to walk out of hospital a day later with no effects is a testament to the antivenom.
The offending spider was captured and taken to the reptile park, where it is now part of the antivenom milking program.
Despite the fearsome reputation of spiders in Australia, deaths caused by bites are very rare, thanks to the introduction of antivenom.
In April 2016, a redback spider bite was believed to have caused the death of 22-year-old Jayden Burleigh from Sydney.
The funnel web spider is considered the most deadly in the world because its venom can kill within 15 minutes. But the redback is believed to have more powerful venom.