Not all health news is easy to report, especially when it comes to freak accidents and rare diseases. Here’s a look at some of the scariest headlines from 2017:
Mariana Sifrit’s parents warned others about the danger of allowing newborns to be held by others who had not washed their hands or were harboring an illness after their baby was diagnosed with Meningitis HSV-1 when she was less than a week old.
The illness, which is caused by the herpes virus, proved too much for the newborn and she tragically died.
A 17-year-old boy in Mexico went to the doctor complaining of decreasing vision and pain in his right eye, only for staff to discover a flatworm wriggling in and out of the teen’s eyeball. The worm had created multiple holes in his iris and was “moving freely in the eye.“ To get rid of it, doctors were forced to surgically remove the lens from the teen’s eye, and take the worm out in several pieces. While he was given anti-parasitic medicine, his vision had not improved six months post-surgery.
Thomas Jay was taking out the trash when he felt a pinch followed by excruciating pain on his arm. He flicked away what he described as a “cross between a scorpion and a spider.” Hours later his arm was covered in dark purple bruising.
He was transferred between hospitals until he found one with a toxicology department where doctors took a biopsy to determine what caused such an extreme reaction.
Khaliah Shaw is three years into a painful recovery from a dosage error that caused her body to burn from the inside out. Shaw spent three weeks in a medically induced coma while her skin slowely peeled off. She claims the error occured after she was prescribed medication for depression, which caused her to break out in blisters.
She eventually lost her fingernails, sweat glands and she is slowly going blind. Shaw said she is suing to ensure that other patients are protected from pharmaceutical errors.
Tessa Puma’s left leg began to swell after she was diagnosed with strep throat and a case of the flu. Akron Children’s Hospital determined the swelling was due to necrotizing fasciitis, and were forced to remove the leg.
They later discovered damage from the bacteria in her shoulder and back, which they said was likely the result of the infection spreading through her bloodstream.
Chelsey Brown felt some pain when she caught her left ring finger on the fence at her son’s T-ball practice, but figured her wedding band had cut her skin. It wasn’t until she looked down that she realized her finger was missing. Her husband rushed to retrieve the finger from the fence while a nurse formed a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
The injury tore the tendon attached to the finger clean from Brown’s elbow, canceling any hope for reattachment. Brown said she feels like she’s adjusting well, but wants others to be aware of the potential dangers that could come from something as seemingly innocent as holding onto a fence.
Lindsey Hubley and her fiance, Mike Sampson, filed a claim against her doctors and IWK Health Centre after she said they failed to remove part of her placenta during her son’s birth. She returned to the hospital twice after being discharged, and required amputations below both her elbows and knees and a complete hysterectomy.
Hubley reportedly faces major hurdles, and Sampson was forced to quit his job to become her full-time caregiver.
Ashley Bilek claims her toddler-aged daughter suffered second-degree burns after she fell asleep with a pacifier clip stuck to her skin. She claims doctors told her that little Madelynn’s body heat was enough to cause the clip to stick to her, and she has since filed a complaint about the JJ Cole Pacifier Clip with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The company was in contact with Bilek about the incident and said it was investigating.
Researchers studying the brains of 202 former football players discovered traces of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in nearly all of them, with the highest instances occurring in players who had reached the professional level.
Of the 111 brains of former NFL players, researchers discovered evidence of CTE in 110. It was found in 48 of 53 college players, nine of the 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players and three of 14 high school players.
A 31-year-old man died after he reportedly ignored warnings about swimming after getting a new tattoo and contracted a flesh-eating bacteria infection in the Gulf of Mexico. He had gotten a crucifix and pair of praying hands tattooed on his calf five days prior to swimming, and began suffering from fever, chills and a rash close to the ink after taking a dip.
He developed sepsis in his right calf, which had turned purple by the time he was admitted to the hospital. Two weeks after he was placed on life support, his condition further deteriorated and his kidney failed. Doctors believed years of alcohol abuse likely contributed to his demise.
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