Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Arthropod in Ear Day Part II

After the insect in the kids ear one recent morning, I thought my day was complete and there would be no more excitement, but I was wrong.

A middle aged man came to the clinic late one recent afternoon with the following story. He was working above his head when he saw a spider descend upon him. It landed on his head and he felt it go in his ear. Somehow he was able to keep from jamming his finger in there to try to get it out. Instead, he calmly got in his vehicle and drove to the clinic. My nurse brought him back to an exam room where he told her the story. She took a look at his ear. This is a reenactment of her description of what she saw.

She was about to just grab it, but it backed its way in his ear just like that was his home. So she came and pulled me out of an exam room and told me about the spider in the ear. I shined a light and could just barely make out the spider and saw him backing in further. Keep in mind that the gentleman is standing very calmly, waiting for us to get it out. So I grabbed my otoscope and this is approximately what I saw.

I then grabbed the alligator clamp and took a couple of grabs at it but the thing kept moving away and further back. Finally I made an attempt and the spider scampered out of there and ran up the side of his head. My nurse very astutely started whacking this guy on the head trying to smash it, while I was lining up to thump it across the room. After 4 solid blows to the head she finally smashed it on his cap. Here is the actual dead spider. Its abdomen was much fuller but the contents were left behind on the cap. At first I though it might be a brown recluse because the thorax has what could be construed as a violin shape, but I wouldn't say for sure.

Since the spider finally went out voluntarily, there were no remaining parts, and no apparent injury, so all is well that ends well. I told my partners about this and they suggested next time I use lidocaine to both numb the ear and kill the animal. Next time I probably will go that route.

posted by Clay @ 7/06/2005 10:02:00 AM   3 comments


At 4:57 PM, Blogger joe said...

you da SPIDERMAN!!!!

At 6:46 AM, Blogger joe said...

To speak for brown recluse--sounds like the spider was seeking the best hiding place it could find--ear canal.
Could you image a bite in the canal. Fortunately you and your nurse had the varmint on the run, it didn't have time to think about biting anything!

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Clay said...

Yeah that would have been bad news.


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