1st Thai death from recluse spider

A man who was the first confirmed person in Thailand to be bitten by a brown recluse spider died on Monday, almost three weeks after he had been nipped by the venomous species native to the United States.

Uthai Viengkam, 46, was pronounced dead at Phrae Hospital at 2.45pm after doctors amputated his right leg from above the knee on July 22 due to putrefaction and to stop the spider’s poison from spreading. He remained in the intensive care unit ever since. 

Uthai suffered multiple spider bites on July 8 to the back of his right foot and on his left calf while he was in bed at his home in Phrae’s Den Chai district, but did not seek medical help until July 10.

Dr Thongchai Meeluakarn, the hospital’s deputy director, said Uthai died from blood infection.

After the operation, he said, the patient’s condition was stable. However, Uthai later experienced low platelet counts and kidney failure which required him to be monitored 24 hours. His condition recently deteriorated and there was bleeding in the large intestine and stomach along with bacterial infection that prevented his body from making enough red blood cells, he added. 

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