Georgia student likely to lose fingers to flesh-eating infection

ATLANTA Mon May 14, 2012 9:19am IST

Related Topics

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia college student who has already lost a leg to a rare, flesh-eating bacterial infection is now expected to suffer the loss of her fingers too, her father said.

Aimee Copeland, 24, was kayaking and zip-lining along the Little Tallapoosa River near Carrollton, Georgia, on May 1 when the line broke and she sustained a cut to her calf.

Emergency room doctors closed the wound with 22 staples and released Copeland, a graduate student at West Georgia University. But after her conditioned worsened, Copeland was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection.

Copeland, who already suffered the amputation of a leg at the hip, was still listed in critical condition on Sunday, said Barclay Bishop, spokeswoman for Doctor's Hospital in Augusta.

She would not provide any other details, but Aimee's father, Andy Copeland, said in a web posting over the weekend that her fingers were also likely to be lost to the infection ravaging her body.

He said she may retain the use of her palms after surgery, however, something that would potentially leave her with enough muscle control to use prosthetics.

Doctors are "awaiting a safe time" before conducting further surgery, the father wrote.

Necrotizing fasciitis is often initially overlooked by doctors because it invades tissue deep inside the wound while the outer wound appears to be healing normally, Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical School said.

"This often is a very subtle infection initially," Schaffner said. "These bacteria lodge in the deeper layers of the wound. The organism is deep in the tissues and that's where it's causing its mischief."

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by David Bailey, Tom Brown and Eric Beech)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

WORLD SHOWCASE

Algerie Crash

Algerie Crash

Bad weather seen as probable cause of Air Algerie crash  Full Article 

Russian Weapons

Russian Weapons

Russia transfer of rocket system to Ukraine rebels imminent - Pentagon  Full Article 

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling  Full Article 

Immigration Issue

Immigration Issue

Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland  Full Article 

Iraq Politics

Iraq Politics

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki - step aside  Full Article 

Flights Resume

Flights Resume

Lufthansa, Air Berlin to resume flights to Tel Aviv  Full Article 

Bus Restrictions

Bus Restrictions

China imposes airline-like restrictions on bus passengers in Xinjiang capital  Full Article 

Meat Scandal

Meat Scandal

In China meat scandal, McDonald's Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage