Patient Dies of 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria'

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    GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A nursing home patient has died of an ailment commonly known as "flesh-eating bacteria," state health officials said Wednesday.

    The condition, called necrotizing fasciitis, is a skin infection caused by Group A streptococus. Another nursing home resident is hospitalized with strep A infection, said Richard Quartarone of the Georgia Division of Public Health.

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  2. 14 Comments...

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    When I was a student in my second year I had a patient who got bitten by a spider and contracted "flesh eating disease" it was awful. It was so bad it looked like the skin was melting off his arm. I will never forget that sight or how bad I felt for him. They had to amputate his arm to prevent it spreading any further.
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    That is what my mom died of. Very fast and gruesome death unlike anything I had ever seen in my almost 20 years as a nurse.

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    Ren, I agree, NF is a horrible infection, I had never seen (or smelled) anything like it until my mom had it and hope I never do again. I am sorry you lost your mom to it.

    My mom was one of the lucky people who contract it. A week after her cat bit her on the front of her shin the wound went from healing to NF overnight.

    At 9pm, before she went to work, I wrapped a dime sized scab on the front of her shin with Kerlex (so her scrubs wouldn't rub on it).
    At 6:30 the following morning it was 3", black, oozing and foul smelling.
    At 9am at the doctor's office it was 5".
    At 12:30 when they took her to surgery to debride it was 10" X8". I was told 12 more hours and she would have lost the leg, 24 and it would have been her life.

    The plan was to do skin grafts "a couple of weeks" after the debridement. Mom refused (she didn't want to go thru grafting), saying she was 70 and didn't care about having a pretty leg. The plastic surgeon told us it would *never* heal but invited us to try. She learned the value of NS wet to moist dressings QID when it was fully healed in 4 weeks.
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    wow gruesome.
    I am sorry about your mom, Renarian.
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    I saw this once when I worked in theatres in london, the patient had nothing but a puncture wound in his grion......... As fast as the surgeons cut it away, the more it spread. You could see it developing in seconds along the skin and surrounding tissues. I was relieved the patient didn't make it in the end. Thier body was a total mess. I think the surgery caused the death in the end!

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    My condolancies and apologies, I hope my post has not disturbed you?
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    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am glad to hear some people do survive it. She was black from her toes to her cheeks. Yep they could not get it off during surgery as it spread like wildfire. 20 units of platelets, 11 of blood, vent and then DIC and in 24 hours from a small cut on her leg from the garbage can. Swift.

    I was shellshocked.

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    Oh Ren, I am so sorry.
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    Where I work in the OR, I know of at least 3 patients over the years I have come into contact with have died from NF.We usually get them and take care of them until a hyperbaric bed becomes available at one of the bigger med centers. I have taken care of at least 4-5 others who have survived this. It is a total mess for the patients and very frustrating for the people taking care of them. You feel you are losing the battle everytime you see them. As you can see a patient can survive if they are in fairly good condition and have no underlying medical problems. Mike

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