Another woman has contracted an infection from flesh-eating bacteria, according to news reports.
Lana Kuykendall, of Upstate, S.C., had just given birth to twins, when she started experiencing pain and noticed that there was a growing spot on her leg, NBC's WYFF4 reported.
GreenvilleOnline.com reported that she initially thought that it was a blood clot, so her husband, Darren, immediately took her to the hospital. However, she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, and required surgery. (For their full report, click here.)
Fox News reported that Kuykendall is currently in critical condition, but she is stable. She is staying at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina, where she has had four surgeries in the time-span of six days, according to Fox News.
However, WYFF4 reported that no one is sure how Kuykendall contracted the infection.
"Right now, just very worried, very upset. Still in disbelief that here is my friend, who just had these two beautiful babies, and now she is intubated upstairs, and not able to enjoy the bonding experience, and enjoy the babies," Kuykendall's friend, Krissy Davidson, told WYFF4. "We're just asking people to pray for her, and lift her up at this point."
In a separate recent case, 24-year-old Aimee Copeland of Georgia, contracted necrotizing fasciitis after suffering a fall from a homemade zipline. She has already lost a leg to the infection, and may lose her fingers, too, ABC News reported.
The risk for necrotizing fasciitis increases when a person's immune system is already weakened; when a person has other health problems like diabetes or kidney disease; when there are cuts on the skin; when the body has decreased infection resistance because of medications; and when a person has just the chickenpox or another kind of viral infection, WebMD reported.
There are about 10,000 to 15,000 necrotizing fasciitis infections each year in the U.S., with 2,000 to 3,000 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
According to the 2007 World Journal of Emergency Surgery study, necrotizing fasciitis can be hard to diagnose -- but being too slow to diagnose it carries an increased risk of death.
GreenvilleOnline.com reported that the strange spot Kuykendall noticed on her leg appeared to be a bruise with a red/black color. The World Journal of Emergency Surgery study noted that the first symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include new wounds elsewhere from the initial infected wound (even though the original wound usually doesn't yet look infected), the sensation of pain somewhere near the original wound and flu-like symptoms.
Three or four days later, the part of the body where the infected wound is may start to swell up and dark marks and rashes may occur. The actual wound may also start to have a "bluish, white, or dark, mottled, flaky appearance," according to the study. And within four or five days, the body's blood pressure may decrease and may experience septic shock. The person may also become unconscious.
For more on Kuykendall, watch the Fox News video above.
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