Man’s arm amputated after eating sushi

    Flesh eating disease from raw seafood
    Raw seafood caused these blisters and discolouration and dead flesh. The man's left forearm had to be amputated. Photo New England Journal of Medicine.

    Jeonju, South Korea – Authorities are warning people again about eating raw sea-food.

    The warning comes after a 71-year-old man developed severe illness that resulted in the amputation of his left forearm.

    The bacterial infection with Vibrio vulnificus causes severe intestinal disorder and often excruciating pain when the bacteria  enters the body. This bacteria is also labelled as a “flesh-eating” pathogen.

    According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the man went to a  emergency room with excruciating pain in his left arm.

    Dr. Jin Park reported that the man developed the pain 12 hours after eating raw seafood.

    “He had a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension and was undergoing hemodialysis for end-stage renal disease,” said Park in the report.

    “At the time of presentation, hemorrhagic bullae (blisters) measuring 3.5 by 4.5 cm had developed on the palm of his left hand and erythematous swelling with confluent tense bullae and ecchymoses (discolouration from bleeding under skin) had developed on the dorsum of the hand and forearm.”

    Following surgery which was performed urgently doctors isolated the bacteria  Vibrio vulnificus from the blisters.

    Intravenous antibiotics were given for several days in hospital.

    “V. vulnificus can cause skin infections after wound exposure to contaminated seawater, as well as primary septicemia through the consumption of contaminated raw or undercooked seafood.

    “Patients with immunocompromising conditions, including chronic liver disease and cancer, are at increased risk for infection and complications.

    “Despite treatment, the skin lesions progressed to deep necrotic ulcers, and amputation of the left forearm was performed 25 days after presentation.

    “The patient did well after the surgery and was discharged home.”