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TomAz
08-02-2012, 07:31 AM
http://www.lohud.com/usatoday/article/56640772?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CNews%7Cs

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- Twelve days after doctors told a woman that she was finally clear of a life-threatening flesh-eating bacteria infection, she took a turn for the worse and died.

Crystal Spencer, 33, had spent a month in and out of three hospitals. Her husband had been visiting a rehabilitation hospital Sunday where she was about to be transferred when the hospital called and told him to return immediately.

"As soon as I got off the elevator," the staff told him, "We've got some bad news," Jeff Spencer said.

A team of eight doctors worked for more than an hour to resuscitate his wife, amid alarms indicating she was near death three times. She died at 3:36 p.m. Sunday.

The family is raising money to conduct an autopsy to find out as much as they can about what happened. Results could take several weeks.

Until about a week ago when they learned that their application for Medicaid had been approved, the Spencers had limited health insurance. Now Jeff Spencer said he has thousands of dollars in medical debt from care not covered by insurance.

Crystal Spencer was a high school dropout and had been poor and underinsured or uninsured most of her life. She had adult-onset diabetes and weighed more than 300 pounds all of her adult life, factors that put her at higher risk of contracting the flesh-eating bacteria.

Her death from necrotizing fasciitis has drawn national attention to a rare disease many had never heard of and others knew only by its scary name: the flesh-eating bacteria.

Nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 500 to 1,500 cases a year; 1 in 5 people dies from it. Many others have fingers, toes or limbs amputated because the bacteria eats away at underlying layers of tissue.

Many cases are misdiagnosed or found late, according to the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation, a nonprofit founded by two women who survived the infection.

The foundation hopes to raise awareness about a problem that needs more education and hospital early intervention programs so symptoms can be caught and treated with antibiotics or the removal of dead skin and infected tissue, a procedure called debridement. Others need surgery, including extensive skin grafts.

Too often, patients get the wrong treatment because the infection is misdiagnosed, according to the foundation

Jeff Spencer said doctors at Huron Valley-Sinai in Commerce Township, Mich., originally had told him his wife had a urinary tract infection. At Botsford Hospital here, where she first sought care June 23 for what she thought was a boil on her upper right thigh, an emergency department physician lanced the protruding tissue and sent her home with a Motrin prescription, said Theresa Corwin of Farmington Hills, a close friend.

She and Spencer blame Botsford for not running blood tests to see whether white blood cell counts were elevated, a sign of infection.

They also wonder why a doctor there called the infected area on her leg an "abscess" -- an accumulation of pus and tissue triggered by an infection -- but gave them no warning that Crystal Spencer might be contagious. Corwin, who said she is certified in CPR and first aid, was given the job of cleaning the wound and changing the dressings four to five times a day when her friend got home.

On Monday, Botsford spokeswoman Margo Gorchow said it was unlikely that Crystal Spencer contracted necrotizing facitiitis there because the infection typically is not acquired in a hospital, and the woman had none of its symptoms when she came to the emergency department.

A spokeswoman for Huron Valley-Sinai declined comment both Monday and Tuesday, citing patient privacy laws.

Mostly, Spencer said he wants answers because "we don't want this to happen again to someone else."



Copyright 2012 USA TODAY

TomAz
08-02-2012, 07:33 AM
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/01/doctors-race-to-save-long-island-firefighter-from-flesh-eating-bacteria/


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A firefighter on Long Island is in the fight of his life as doctors race against the clock to save Ralph Lettieri’s leg from flesh-eating bacteria.

The Lettieri family told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan on Wednesday that they are desperately looking for help from anybody who may be able to stop the bacteria from spreading.

“It’s a nightmare, so if the doctors are out there, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone if you have an idea,” said his father, Ralph Sr.

The rare and dangerous bacteria began eating away at Ralph Jr., a volunteer firefighter and construction worker, in mid-July.

“He has a flesh-eating disease. We are just trying to get him more help. Brookhaven has done everything to save his life. We just need more,” said his fiancée, Vickie Vasquez.

Overcome with emotion, Lettieri’s family has watched him undergo six surgeries in three days as more and more of his flesh and skin was removed.

Lettieri has been placed into a medically induced coma and was transferred from Brookhaven to Nassau University Medical Center, where the staff has put him in a hyperbaric chamber to try to control his double pneumonia.

In the meantime, Patchogue firefighters are praying for the stricken lieutenant.

“It was kinda shocking to all of us. One day here, the next day in the hospital,” Chief Anthony Citarella said.

Lettieri’s family told CBS 2 that they believe he acquired the disease after diving into a lake with an exposed wound. Antibiotics did nothing, and an infection known as Necrotizing Fascitis set in.

“It destroys and kills tissue. The bacteria consumes the tissues that are present,” explained Dr. Louis Riina of Nassau University Medical Center.

Lettieri’s hyperbaric chamber is being flooded with oxygen, which works to kill the flesh-eating disease. His family remains at his bedside as his colleagues organize prayer vigils and fundraisers.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 07:35 AM
Aimee Copeland's recovery continues







Despite injuries, Copeland 'blessed'







http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/02/health/georgia-flesh-eating-bacteria/index.html

(CNN) -- Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia woman who has waged a two-month battle against flesh-eating bacteria, was released from a hospital Monday.

Copeland will enter a rehab facility for an undetermined amount of time before returning home after surgeons amputated most of her hands, one of her legs and her remaining foot in an effort to stay ahead of the infection. She has also had multiple skin grafts after tissue was removed from her abdomen.

"Aimee is very excited, like a kid going off to college," her father, Andy, said Monday, "but she also realizes that rehab will be arduous. But she says she will handle it."

Copeland was discharged Monday morning from Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, hospital spokesman Barclay Bishop said.

Previously on CNN.com: Georgia woman with flesh-eating infection dramatically improves

Andy Copeland told CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" last week his daughter is ready for new surroundings: "She's been seeing those four walls inside that hospital for a long time."

He said, "This next step is her opportunity to go (to) the next phase and learn something, be able to rehabilitate and basically relearn her life skills. She needs to be able to develop the autonomy to be able to transfer from her bed to a wheelchair to the shower to the bathroom or anywhere else in the house. And she can do it."

Front Lines: Copeland utters first words
Aimee Copeland had gone outside the hospital in a wheelchair at least once, June 24, as her condition improved, her father said in his blog.

Copeland's ordeal began May 1 when she was riding a makeshift zip line across the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta. The line snapped, and she fell and received a gash in her left calf that took 22 staples to close.

Three days later, still in pain, she went to an emergency room. Doctors eventually determined she had necrotizing fasciitis caused by the bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila.

Since then, her father has blogged about her situation regularly. A Facebook page devoted to her fight has more than 78,000 "likes."

A number of bacteria that are common in the environment but rarely cause serious infections can lead to necrotizing fasciitis. When the bacteria get into the bloodstream, such as through a cut, doctors typically move aggressively to excise even healthy tissue near the infection site in hopes of ensuring none of the dangerous bacteria remain.

Advocate: Story of rare bacterial infection raising awareness

The infection attacks and destroys healthy tissue and is fatal about 20% of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, estimates that fewer than 250 such cases occur each year in the United States, though estimates are imprecise since doctors do not have to report the cases to health authorities.

Copeland has remained positive throughout the ordeal that brought her to the brink of death, her sister told "OutFront."

"She's just amazing because she just knows that she's blessed and she is just so happy to be alive," Paige Copeland said. "Aimee, she cherishes life. She relishes life. Everyday is a gift and she always has had that outlook even before her accident."

South Carolina mom making progress against bacterial disease

CNN's Jennifer Bixler contributed to this report.

ENluv12
08-02-2012, 07:36 AM
um. wow. I don't know what to say to this. Did she get it from being overweight, or am I a moron who can't read?

TomAz
08-02-2012, 07:37 AM
They say unusually tall and athletic women are particularly prone to it.

ENluv12
08-02-2012, 07:38 AM
And now I have read the other articles. This is actually pretty freaky.

ENluv12
08-02-2012, 07:38 AM
They say unusually tall and athletic women are particularly prone to it.

Good thing I am not athletic anymore ;) haha

chairmenmeow47
08-02-2012, 07:54 AM
so this may be a dumb question, but is this somehow related to diabetes? i saw them mention it in the first article. my former theatre director had diabetes. he didn't take care of it well and eventually died. at one point, he had a toe amputated and used to gross us all out by taking off the bandages. i wonder if that's the same thing or is something else? i was young and just remember it being related to diabetes.

either way, sounds like some scary shit.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 08:01 AM
I think amputations resulting from complications of diabetes are something else entirely.

EastLos01
08-02-2012, 08:06 AM
so this may be a dumb question, but is this somehow related to diabetes? i saw them mention it in the first article. my former theatre director had diabetes. he didn't take care of it well and eventually died. at one point, he had a toe amputated and used to gross us all out by taking off the bandages. i wonder if that's the same thing or is something else? i was young and just remember it being related to diabetes.

either way, sounds like some scary shit.

He more than likely lost it due to poor circulation. Its not uncommon in Diabetics to have their lower limbs amputated. Diabetics have to be very careful. even when cutting their toenails. Any little cut can result in it not healing and gangrene setting in.

chairmenmeow47
08-02-2012, 08:09 AM
ok thanks. i knew it was a stupid question, but still wanted to ask :)

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 08:10 AM
This shit is caused by strep pyogenes - which you can get in a minor infection (strep throat, impetigo), or if it spreads into the fascia you can end up with necrotizing fasciitis (what people refer to as a flesh-eating infection). So while it's not related to diabetes per se, a weakened immune system can definitely make it easier for the bacteria to invade and spread. Any sort of chronic illness makes necrotizing fasciitis more likely. The good news is it's susceptible to penicillin, with no resistance yet, so if it's caught early on and the person is pretty healthy it's treatable.

Ivy - what you're talking about, though, is a common side effect of diabetes. Diabetics who don't control their systems can often suffer from diabetic neuropathies, which can lead to foot ulcers, which then turn into foot infections and can require amputation. Peripheral artery disease is also fairly common and doesn't help.

captncrzy
08-02-2012, 08:11 AM
This is our extinction event

EastLos01
08-02-2012, 08:13 AM
You're Welcome.

Not a stupid question at all. My pops had half if his foot amputated due to Diabetes, and it was just a toe stub that led to the amputation. Thank God its been like 10 years now and it was contained to half of his foot. I know Diabetics that it started with a Toe, then went to the foot to the entire leg. Not a pretty scene, and the smell is awful.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 08:15 AM
I love the smell of gangrenous flesh in the morning.

nosurprises12
08-02-2012, 08:20 AM
This is our extinction event

http://www.cultmoviez.com/A/slides/POSTER%20-%20THE%20ANDROMEDA%20STRAIN.jpg

EastLos01
08-02-2012, 08:23 AM
Goes great with bacon and eggs Tom.

amyzzz
08-02-2012, 09:39 AM
This is our extinction eventThat is what I was thinking too.

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 09:52 AM
That is what I was thinking too.

As long as it doesn't develop penicillin resistance it shouldn't be a huge problem. If it does...well, researchers are working on a vaccine but it's proving to be really difficult.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 10:17 AM
uh oh. I'M ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN. bye bye world.

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Well, as long as you're not immuno-compromised you're not terribly at risk. And it can be treated with macrolides and cephalosporins in people allergic to penicillin.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 10:24 AM
Whew.

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 10:25 AM
I mean, strep pyogenes is REALLY prevalent. It's pretty much everywhere. Yet we're not all dying of necrotizing fasciitis - the news is, once again, blowing this shit out of proportion.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 10:45 AM
Are you faulting me for creating this thread, Corinna?

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 10:46 AM
I fault everyone for pretty much everything, Tom.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 10:50 AM
Yes, because you are an intelligent person. I approve of your disapproval.

Courtney
08-02-2012, 11:16 AM
I just google image searched "flesh eating bacteria." DON'T DO THAT.

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
08-02-2012, 11:28 AM
A friend of mine had some variation of flesh eating bacteria that infected her foot a few years ago. Luckily it didn't spread, she didn't have to amputate, and when they got it under control her foot healed up pretty good. the pictures of when it was infected looked like something out of a fucking horror movie though.

TomAz
08-02-2012, 11:39 AM
I just google image searched "flesh eating bacteria." DON'T DO THAT.

http://ilovebacteria.com/Images/streppyo.png

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 11:51 AM
http://lostmarbles.ca/uploaded/thumbnails/db_file_img_65758_400x400.jpg

shoegazer76
08-02-2012, 12:57 PM
I think the untreatable gonnorhea is the extinction event.

ENluv12
08-02-2012, 02:25 PM
I just google image searched "flesh eating bacteria." DON'T DO THAT.

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww :nono

kitt kat
08-02-2012, 02:54 PM
So basically, if we're relatively healthy and don't do things like...erm...let rusty slacklines cut up our legs without going to the hospital, we should be OK?

OK.

HowToDisappear
08-02-2012, 03:57 PM
No, she had the bad luck of falling into a river after cutting herself badly. She was treated and stitched up. It was most likely the water. So the lesson is: don't go into a body of untreated water with an open wound/sore. Never suck untreated water from a lake or river deeply up into your nose (granted that's usually accidental); people have succumbed from weird microbial/fungal infections that settle deep in their sinuses and then go to the brain, and BAM, they're dead. Isn't that swell?

kitt kat
08-02-2012, 04:02 PM
^ That too, but I also thought I read she was studying holistic health and initially didn't go to the hospital to be treated. She only went in when it started getting worse instead of better.

DON'T USE UNTREATED WATER IN YR NETI POT

ThatGirl
08-02-2012, 04:27 PM
A friend of mine had some variation of flesh eating bacteria that infected her foot a few years ago. Luckily it didn't spread, she didn't have to amputate, and when they got it under control her foot healed up pretty good. the pictures of when it was infected looked like something out of a fucking horror movie though.

Something similar happened to my friend's brother. Sudden and fast. They said you could see his skin changing and watch it become infected as it moved up his leg. He was terrified but they caught it and he was in ICU for 3 days but healed completely.

gaypalmsprings
08-02-2012, 04:44 PM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2227/4470963882_9981b4df61.jpg

miscorrections
08-02-2012, 04:53 PM
Something similar happened to my friend's brother. Sudden and fast. They said you could see his skin changing and watch it become infected as it moved up his leg. He was terrified but they caught it and he was in ICU for 3 days but healed completely.

Yeah, in the beginning it usually presents like an inflamed zit or a boil, so it's especially problematic when doctors misdiagnose (as is unfortunately common). When they lance the area it helps introduce the bacteria to the bloodstream and tissues. Correct early diagnosis is key.