Flesh-Eating Disease Claims Girl’s Leg After Zip Line Accident

    May 10, 2012
    Amanda Crum
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It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but flesh-eating disease is a very real–and dangerous–thing. The scariest thing about it is that it can happen with the simplest injury involving broken skin, a fact most people aren’t aware of. It happened to 24-year old Aimee Copeland, who had an accident on a homemade zip line last week while on a boating trip with friends in Carollton, Georgia.

After the line snapped and cut her leg, Aimee sought help at a local hospital, where they stitched up the gash on her calf and sent her on her way. But unbeknownst to doctors–and Aimee–a rare type of strep infection had been closed in under her skin, where it burrowed down into the wound and began to deteriorate muscle tissue. When she returned to the hospital the next day complaining of severe pain, doctors gave her a prescription for pain killers, and, later, antibiotics. By Friday, it was clear something else was going on; she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which had advanced to a point that necessitated her leg to be amputated up to the hip.

Although it’s not always clear where the infection starts, doctors believe it comes from bacteria housed in the victim’s own body, such as in saliva. It can also survive on the skin, so frequent hand-washing is a must when the skin is broken, even if the cut is small.

Aimee has had some scares since the amputation; doctors lost her pulse this past Tuesday after her fever spiked from the infection. Her father, Andy, said that it was a miracle she survived the amputation at all and that the family could only stay positive in light of the accident. Her friends have taken to Twitter to urge prayers and support.

Aimee is on the front page of yahoo. #UWG please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. http://t.co/YR2VX7tk 7 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Pray for Aimee Copeland. She’s suffering from a flesh eating disease and her chances of surviving are slim. #AimeeCopeland #PrayerRequest 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

  • George Meredith MD

    To Avoid MRSA, Get Back to Basics!

    Another resistant staphylococcus/streptococcus tragedy thanks to poor surgical training of general surgeons, plastic surgeons and emergency room physicians. Augmented by the know it all pharmaceutical industry and the morons at the CDC!

    The CDC rarely points out that MRSA and, now, NDM-1, infections often are related to some (foreign body) implant. Silastic implants, road dirt, splinters, contaminated fresh water and bone fragments! Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

    Basic surgical principals: Irrigate wound at end of operation or in the Emergency Room, in the case of a contaminated wound. Remove road dirt, splinters, bone fragments, etc. DO NOT CLOSE POTENTIALLY CONTAMINATED WOUNDS !!!!…pack the wound open and then change packing twice daily for the next ten days! Irrigate with strong penicillin solution.

    After clean elective surgery cases, if infection occurs, usually on the third postoperative day, then, open wound widely. Change one inch plain Nu Gauze Packing Strips twice daily. Don’t rely on some super antibiotic. Get back to basics!

    High dose IV Aqueous Penicillin, 60 million units per day intravenously, was the drug of choice for MSRA before the FDA removed it from the marketplace.

    Those phony little Culture and Sensitivity (C&S) discs, Dr Anthony Fauci (CDC), give completely different sensitivity results when the concentration of penicillin is increased tenfold!

    Search: George Meredith MD Comments for more information.

    “The best government is the least government.”

    George Meredith MD
    Virginia Beach