The Place


Utah doctor tells us the alarmingly common ways you can pick up a flesh-eating bacteria

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jul 12, 2019

Dr. Jerry Chidester, a plastic hand surgeon, brought one of his patients with him who lost a finger after battling a flesh-eating bacteria.

Dr. Chidester said, "Flesh eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, is a rare but deadly infection. It kills up to 30 % of people that contract it. People with weak immune systems can get it, but people otherwise healthy can also get it.

It is commonly found in wounds of the arms and legs from drug use, `fight bites' but also from gardening, insect bites, in the hospital or even in the water!

Surgery is the cure, antibiotics alone do not cure flesh eating bacteria.

Up to 25% of people with this infection in the extremities will require an amputation at some level to prevent loss of the complete limb or death.

People usually require extensive reconstructive surgery or multiple surgeries.

Although we don`t know if it is becoming more prevalent, it has definitely been in the media lately, especially in the coastal regions with people getting Vibrio bacterial infections.

Most commonly in Utah, it is Group A streptococcus or MRSA.

Necrotizing infection presents typically as redness, swelling, pain, and typically pain out of proportion to what you would expect and pain in areas that don`t look infected / appear normal.

It is best to mark any infection site with a marker or pen and timestamp it, and watch it closely. If it is spreading up your extremity then you should seek immediate medical attention."

Find Dr. Chidester