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Tennessee Woman Nearly Lost Her Arm Due to Infection from Flesh-Eating Bacteria

A resident of Tennessee was infected with flesh-eating bacteria that she contracted at a local nail salon. The woman named Jayne Sharp says that she could have lost her entire arm after being infected. Sharp went for a manicure at Jazzy Nail Bar in Knoxville months ago where she received a cut on her right thumb.

Sharp, a retired dental-hygienist, told WBIR-TV that “[The doctor told my daughter] your mother could lose her life with what we think this is and there’s a likelihood she will lose her arm.” Sharp went through several surgeries meant to remove clumps of infected tissue from her infected arm. Initial symptoms made Sharp get herself checked at Summit Medical Group for signs of flu. Sharp was informed by nurse practitioner Nikki Brown that the infection has spread from the thumb to the rest of the arm and was asked to visit the emergency room after increased swelling. “[She said] the flu test came back negative, and I think you might be getting these symptoms from your thumb,” said Sharp.

Dr. Udit Chaudhuri, an internal medicine specialist at the healthcare facility who was involved in Sharp’s treatment, said that a failure to diagnose the infection properly could have cost her the finger or the arm. Chaudhuri said that necrotizing fasciitis or the flesh-eating disease with which Sharp was infected can be contracted via an open wound or a cut in the skin. While speaking to WBIR, Chaudhuri said, ‚ÄúThis bacteria gets introduced under the skin into the soft tissue and then into the bloodstream.”

People with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk of developing the disease. Sharp who suffers from diabetes, was even more vulnerable to the disease, said Chaudhuri.

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