I Can Hardly Believe This!

I posted a story about this survivor back in October. This is… amazing. And, things have come a long way since 1998, when I was hit with necrotizing fasciitis. What we have here is another example of the way wartime medical advances pay huge dividends to victims of traumatic injuries or disease in peacetime. I recall speaking with one of my surgeons about skin grafts and what I considered to be a minor-medical miracle, Xeroform. He told me, “you are benefiting from procedures developed at a hospital in Texas, during the Vietnam war, that had an unlimited supply of burn victims coming in.” That’s a paraphrase, but it had a huge impact on me and I was reminded that many people came before me and didn’t make it — I was indebted to them. Will Lautzenheiser will have a daily reminder of the same lesson:

Last month quadruple amputee Will Lautzenheiser received the gift of a lifetime: two new arms. An anonymous donation had been made to Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, and three years after losing his limbs to deadly bacterial infection, the former professor of film production and screenwriting underwent a double arm transplant.

via Quadruple amputee undergoes arm transplants, thanks hospital and donor’s family – The Washington Post.

Finding the Humor in a Twist of Fate: The Boston Globe

kreiter_lautzenheiser4_gSUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

BU alum Will Lautzenheiser became a comic after losing his limbs while battling a fierce, deadly infection.

Will Lautzenheiser loved teaching in the film department at Boston University, his alma mater. But as an adjunct professor, he wanted some security. When he was offered a faculty position at Montana State University in 2011, he grabbed the opportunity.

“If I didn’t blow it there,” he says, looking back, “I could have had a good full-time job.”

It’s a funny choice of words. Lautzenheiser didn’t “blow” it, he contracted a fierce, deadly infection just as he was starting his first semester. To save his life, the staff at a Salt Lake City trauma unit made the terrible but life-saving decision to amputate all four of his limbs.

via Finding the humor in a twist of fate – Lifestyle – The Boston Globe.

NovaBay Pharma and NeutroPhase Wound Cleanser

China has the highest number of reported cases of necrotizing fasciitis, or ‘flesh-eating’ disease of any nation in the world.

This is news to me! I’m also surprised to learn that China is experiencing a huge rise in diabetes.

You can read more about China and NeutroPhase here: NovaBay Pharma NBY Receives Additional 150K Units NeutroPhase Order.

Surviving another kind of war: Flesh-killing necrotizing fasciitis

Erik-Jones-of-ElizabethErik Jones joins the ranks of the survivors! It’s always a relief to find a story like his.

“It started suddenly, with a pain in Erik Jones’‍ upper left leg as he was helping a friend move lumber in May 2012. Then came fever, chills and vomiting… He had necrotizing fasciitis, a bacterial infection that attacks connective tissue deep beneath the skin. This tissue, called the fascia, forms a continuous layer around the muscle, so bacteria can speed along it from one part of the body to another. The disease is rare — annually, there are 500 to 1,500 cases in the United States — but it is harrowing. Not only can it turn your skin black, or make it lumpy as bubble-wrap, if left untreated, it can also kill you.”

Read the entire article here.

Timely Tips From Downeast

Our family lived in Maine between 1993-96 and the Bangor Daily News was always there with more than just news. Check out these tips on how to spot necrotizing fasciitis, if you encounter it.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a severe bacterial infection that spreads rapidly and destroys the body’s soft tissue, such as skin and muscle. The infection can strike randomly. But individuals with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly and those with chronic diseases, are at higher risk.

Promising New Drug!

My sister is a medical writer. She pointed me to some news this week, which may be of interest for those of us who have been affected by necrotizing fasciitis and, perhaps, those who will encounter the disease in the future:

Late today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Cubist Pharmaceuticals’ tedizolid phosphate (SIVEXTRO™) for the treatment of acute adult bacterial skin and skin structure infections, or ABSSSIs. Sivextro is indicated for infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria that include: Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) isolates), Streptococcus pyogenies

You can read more about Sivextro in Forbes magazine and here.