Man hospitalized with flesh-eating bacteria after golf cart crash on beach
GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) - A Texas wife and medical professional is sending out a warning after her husband’s wound was infected by a flesh-eating bacteria, and they had to visit multiple hospitals to get treatment.
Robbin Kelly-Dunn and her family were visiting Texas’ Crystal Beach for her birthday May 5 when her husband, Darrell, was hurt in a golf cart accident on the beach that crushed his legs.
Due to their location, the 911 dispatcher said it would take awhile to get her husband to the hospital.
“They couldn’t get to us because they don’t have any hospitals in the Bolivar Peninsula,” Kelly-Dunn said.
When her husband was finally admitted to a hospital in Galveston, Kelly-Dunn, who is a medical professional, says she knew something was wrong when his wounds were left exposed.
“Especially if it’s on a beach area, you are supposed to clean the wounds because of possible infection. Nothing was done,” Kelly-Dunn said.
Her husband was released, but after the couple returned home, they went to two other hospitals and an urgent care. Finally, he was admitted to a facility in The Woodlands where staff immediately put him on antibiotics for an infection that could be life-threatening.
“Had I waited, he could have possibly lost his limb,” Kelly-Dunn said.
The bacteria that caused the infection is called Vibrio Vulnificus, which is commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria. It can be found in raw or undercooked shellfish and is naturally present in saltwater.
Symptoms of an infection can start 12 to 72 hours after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include fever, blistering skin lesions, redness, swelling and pain. Severe cases can involve intensive care or amputation.
Dr. Anthony Flores with UT Health says this type of infection is rare but can happen, especially when someone has an open wound.
“Anytime we have an open wound or anybody with these other health conditions that pre-disposes to these types of infections, stay away from the water,” Flores said.
Kelly-Dunn says she just wants to spread awareness to prevent another family from going through this potentially life-changing pain.
“You make sure you have them clean the wound and give you a precautionary antibiotic treatment plan before the infection starts,” she said.
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