When you head out to get your nails done, the only thing on your mind is probably what polish you’re going to use and whether they’ll start chipping within 24 hours. However, a Tennessee woman had much bigger concerns when she visited her local nail salon and came out with a deadly flesh-eating bacteria that nearly caused her to lose her arm.
Jayne Sharp never would have expected this to happen. Sharp, from Knoxville, visited a local nail salon this past spring and while she was there, she got a cut on her finger. It stung, like all cuts do, but she didn’t think much of it at the time. “While I was there I got stuck on my thumb and I went ‘ouch’ but I went back to looking at my telephone,” she told WBIR.
Her symptoms started soon after her visit. After Sharp left the Jazzy Nail Bar in Turkey Creek, her thumb started throbbing a few hours later and then she began feeling so ill that she was unable to sleep. While she originally just thought she was coming down with the flu, her sister, who’s a nurse, urged her to seek medical attention the next day.
Things were about to get much worse. While doctors assured Sharp that she didn’t have the flu, they were concerned with the swelling in the cut on her finger and, when she realized the following day that the swelling had spread all the way up her arm and she had developed a red rash, she was immediately sent to the ER.
Sharp had contracted necrotizing fasciitis. Better known as flesh-eating bacteria, this infection is no joke. As Dr. Udit Chaudhuri, and internal medicine specialist with Summit Medical Group, explained, “Basically you have a break in the skin and this bacteria gets introduced under the skin into the soft tissue and then into the bloodstream.” He added, “She could have lost her finger or her arm if she hadn’t been diagnosed properly.
Her diabetes may have left her more vulnerable. People with compromised immune systems are more likely to contract illnesses like necrotizing fasciitis, and doctors felt Sharp having diabetes may have made her more vulnerable to the infection.
Thankfully, she’s doing better. After undergoing several surgeries, Sharp is beginning to get the feeling back in her affected hand but that she’s still struggling with performing certain activities like flossing. “My life took a total turn when this happened to me,” she said. The nail salon in question passed a state hygiene inspection not long after Sharp filed a report about her infection and still insists it follows all hygiene procedures properly.
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