Second flesh-eating victim roomed next to first
Another case of flesh-eating disease puts man down the hall from Aimee Copeland.
A Georgian landscaper is battling the same flesh-eating disease, at the same Augusta hospital, as Aimee Copeland, a 24-year-old who lost her leg to the infection.
'They told me I was close to death.'
"It was that bad," he said, describing how doctors removed part of the infected flesh and sent him to Doctor's Hospital in Augusta for more surgeries. "They told me I was close to death."
It took a total of five surgeries to remove over two pounds of tissue that was infected by bacteria that had burrowed deep into the wound. Today, Vaughn is to undergo skin grafts to replace tissue removed during surgery.
"They have to rebuild my groin area," Vaughn said. "But I'm feeling much better now."
"The bacteria produce enzymes that can dissolve muscle deep down," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "And because it's so deep, it can be a sneaky infection that's not immediately appreciated by the patient."
The symptom that should cause worry is "serious, unremitting pain."
"An otherwise healthy individual with a seemingly superficial injury who has severe pain should have a much more thorough evaluation," he said.
At one point, Vaughn was next door to Copeland, who is slowly recovering from an infection that took her left leg and is threatening to take her right foot and both hands. Both cases happened only 54 miles apart. The bacteria that caused Copeland's infection is known as Aeromonas hydrophila, which thrives in warm weather and fresh waters. The bacteria that caused Vaughn's infection, however, has remained unknown.
Vaughn is the third person in three weeks to obtain a flesh-eating disease in Georgia. Lana Kuykendall, 36, contracted necrotizing fasciitis on May 11 after giving birth to twins at Emory University Hospital located in Atlanta. She is in critical, but stable, condition.
Doctors believe that the cases are rare and unrelated.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: flesh-eating disease, bacteria, disease, critical, emergency
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