Grandmother contracts deadly flesh-eating bacteria while getting a manicure at nail bar in Tennessee
- Jayne Sharp suffered a small cut on her thumb at Jazzy Nail Bar in Tennessee
- After wards, the throbbing in her thumb quickly turned to agonizing pain
- Contracted necrotising fasciitis, a rare but extremely vicious bacterial infection
- Jayne’s doctors thought she might have to have her arm amputates to stop it
- She lost much of her right thumb’s tissue and had to undergo skin grafts
- Still no feeling has returned to the her right hand the grandmother says
A grandmother nearly lost her contracted a vicious flesh-eating bacteria while getting her nails done at a beauty salon.
Jayne Sharp suffered a small cut on her thumb while getting the manicure at Jazzy Nail Bar near Knoxville, Tennessee, earlier this year.
That night, her thumb started to throb, then quickly turned into pain she couldn’t ignore as the hand swelled gruesomely, she told WBIR.
The retired dental hygienist initially believed she was coming down with the flu, but after a sleepless night she took herself to the emergency room the following day, where doctors said the flesh-eating infection could have cost Jayne her entire arm.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Jayne Sharp suffered a small cut on her thumb while getting a manicure at Jazzy Nail Bar near Knoxville, Tennessee, earlier this year
By the time she arrived her thumb had ballooned so much due to the infection that medics feared she could lose her arm.
She was told she’d contracted necrotising fasciitis, a rare but extremely vicious bacterial infection.
The disease – which affects 500 to 1,500 people in US each year – develops when the bacteria enters the body, often through a minor cut or scrape.
As the bacteria multiply, they release toxins that kill tissue and cut off blood flow to the area. Because it is so virulent, the bacteria spreads rapidly throughout the body.
Sufferers must be treated immediately to prevent death, and are usually given powerful antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue.
Fluid filled her thumb, and the tissue started to turn black before Jayne’s eyes (left). After her ill-fated manicure, Jayne’s hand swelled up and the skin turned red and bumpy as bacteria invaded the tissue below (right)
Before she lost any more tissue to the infection, doctors had to cut Jayne’s hand open to clean it (left). Removing the dead and dying tissue saved Jane’s life, but left her hand held closed with stitches (right)
If the disease begins spreading up an arm or leg, amputation may become necessary to keep it from the infection from reaching vital organs.
Dr Udit Chaudhuri, who treated Jayne, told WIBR: ‘She could have lost her finger or her arm if she hadn’t been diagnosed properly. She is a diabetic so that made her more susceptible.
‘Basically you have a break in the skin and this bacteria gets introduced under the skin into the soft tissue and then into the blood stream.’
Flesh-eating bacterial infections are rare, striking less than 20,000 Americans a year.
But diabetes disturbs the immune system, meaning that people like Jayne are less equipped to fight off the bacteria.
The infection spreads like wildfire, and if it isn’t controlled, can quickly turn fatal.
Now, her right thumb is significantly smaller. Jayne has had several more surgeries, and grafts are helping her hand look more normal gain, but she says she still has no feeling in it
The grandmother said: ‘[The doctor told my daughter] your mother could lose her life with what we think this is and there’s a likelihood she will lose her arm.
‘My life took a total turn. I couldn’t even floss my own teeth. I had never heard of such a thing when they told me flesh-eating bacteria.’
Jayne has undergone several operations to remove infected skin from her thumb and hand and replace the tissue with skin grafts.
Although she’s on the road to recovery, Jayne said she still has no feeling in her hands, which continues to make every day tasks almost impossible.
A spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said no problems were found at the salon during its annual inspection and a follow-up inspection after Jayne’s complaint.
NECROTIZING FASCIITIS: THE VICIOUS FLESH-EATING BACTERIA
The above stock photo shows a leg infected with necrotizing fasciitis
Necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as ‘flesh-eating disease’, is a rare but extremely vicious bacterial infection. ‘Necrotizing’ refers to something that causes body tissue to die, and the infection can destroy skin, muscles and fat.
The disease develops when the bacteria enters the body, often through a minor cut or scrape. As the bacteria multiply, they release toxins that kill tissue and cut off blood flow to the area.
Because it is so virulent, the bacteria spreads rapidly throughout the body.
Symptoms include small, red lumps or bumps on the skin, rapidly-spreading bruising, sweating, chills, fever and nausea. Organ failure and shock are also common complications.
Sufferers must be treated immediately to prevent death, and are usually given powerful antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue. Amputation can become necessary if the disease spreads through an arm or leg.
Patients may undergo skin grafts after the infection has cleared up, to help the healing process or for aesthetic reasons.
There are 500 to 1,500 cases reported a year, but 20 to 25 percent of victims die.
Necrosis is the irreversible process by which body tissue dies as a result of too little blood flow