A woman hiking in Hawaii was impaled by a tree, which caused a flesh-eating bacteria to rot her leg.
According to reports, the 72-year-old unidentified woman had to visit a clinic a week after she cut her left calf open from a tree branch. The older woman was on a hike on a lava field when she fell onto a branch near the ground. The branch impaled the woman’s leg.
She got stitches and five days’ worth of antibiotics for the wound.
After five days, the woman went to the emergency department in Washington state. Her wound was now discolored and had a foil-smelling liquid leaking from the injury.
After examination from doctors, they found signs of infection in the soft tissue, which was causing it to die. The doctors ran tests before diagnosing her with a necrotizing soft tissue infection (NSTI). This infection causes the tissue to die away, which also said to be “flesh-eating”.
Doctors gave the woman another round of antibiotics and had the infection cut out of her leg. Test results from her skin samples came back positive for the bacteria Leclercia adecarboxylata.
The hiker left the hospital six days later with more antibiotics. She had pressure wound therapy to remove fluid buildup to help heal the area, as well as a skin graft.
Leclercia adecarboxylata is found in the gut bacteria of humans and animals but is rare to be infected by it if you have a strong immune system. The bacteria can cause a wide range of infections for individuals with weak immune systems and have even caused death.
Researchers say this thought to be the first case of Leclercia adecarboxylata, causing an NSTI in a human with a working immune system.
Doctors say that this bacteria is responsive to a number of common antibiotics.