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

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Climate Deal

Climate Deal

EU strikes compromise to set new climate target.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Mali becomes sixth West African nation hit by Ebola.  Full Article 

China Reforms

China Reforms

China vows better rule of law, but no word of disgraced security chief.  Full Article 

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong Unrest

U.N. rights watchdog calls for open elections in Hong Kong.  Full Article 

Fukushima Probe

Fukushima Probe

Japan prosecutors set to rule on possible Fukushima indictments.  Full Article 

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

U.S.-led air strikes killed 553 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria - monitor.  Full Article 

Under Siege

Under Siege

Syria's Kobani less at risk but could still fall - U.S. officials.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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