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Golfer Extracts Poisonous Spider Venom with Tee
Sweden's Daniela Holmqvist acted quickly after being bitten on her lower leg by a spider during qualifying for the $1.2 million Women's Australian Open, which starts Thursday at Royal Canberra Golf Club.
The 24-year-old saw a redback spider on her lower leg and suddenly felt a sharp pain above her left ankle. Instead of requesting medical personnel, Holmqvist took a golf tee out of her bag and pierced the skin around the bite mark, squeezing as much venom out as possible.
"A clear fluid came out," she told reporters. "It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever done but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible."
It's a good thing she moved promptly. The redback, which has a distinguishing red strike on the back of its black abdomen, is related to the black widow spider. It's Australia's most dangerous spider and its venom is toxic to humans.
Over 250 people are treated each year for bites from the redback spider, though no deaths have been reported since 1955, when an antidote was developed.
After conducting her emergency surgery, Holmqvist was accompanied by medical personnel and finished her round. Unfortunately, she shot a 74 and missed qualifying for the Women's Australian Open by two strokes.