Patient must be amputated by hand and forearm

The consumption of sushi had terrible consequences for a man from South Korea

A 71-year-old South Korean man now had to have his hand and forearm amputated because his meat started to rot after eating sushi.

The affected man from South Korea was infected with a potentially fatal carnivorous bacterium that allowed painful black ulcers to grow on his skin 12 hours after consuming sushi. In the course of time the condition of the man continued to deteriorate. The infection was so bad that the affected person had to be amputated 25 days later, the hand and forearm. The medical history of the man was published in the English-language magazine "The New England Journal of Medicine".

A South Korean man lost his hand and forearm after consuming sushi. (Image: yuliiaholovchenko /

Some serious illnesses had already been delivered

The 71-year-old man sought an emergency room after the infection after two days of fever and painful pain in his left hand. The patient had a history of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In addition, a so-called hemodialysis for kidney disease was already carried out in the last phase with the person in question.

How did the infection develop?

At the time of presentation, hemorrhagic blisters of 3.5 x 4.5 cm had already developed on the palm of his left hand. In addition, erythematous swelling with confluent blisters and so-called ecchymoses had formed on the back of the hand and forearm. The doctors in the hospital diagnosed a necrotizing fasciitis caused by the bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus. This required surgical intervention. Postoperatively, the patient then received the drugs ceftazidime and ciprofloxacin intravenously.

What causes Vibrio vulnificus?

Vibrio vulnificus may cause skin infections after contact with contaminated seawater, as well as primary sepsis due to consumption of contaminated raw or uncooked seafood. Patients with immunosuppressive disorders, including chronic liver disease and cancer, are at increased risk of infections and complications.

Patient has already been discharged home

Despite the treatment, skin lesions were developed into deep necrotic ulcers and amputation of the left forearm 25 days after the presentation. The patient recovered well after the operation and was eventually discharged home.

What is necrosis?

The doctors first emptied the blisters before they finally decided that his forearm and hand could not be saved because the man's skin was already so badly rotten. The deep sores in his hand caused necrosis, the death of living tissue, which can spread and cause irreparable injuries.

Diabetes increases the risk of skin ulcers

People with diabetes are at particular risk of developing skin ulcers, because the condition of the body restricts blood flow and nutrients to the skin, which means that healing takes longer. Sometimes there is no cure at all. (Ash)

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