A father of two almost died from sepsis after biting his nails.
Luke Hanoman, a 28-year-old UK resident, was biting his nails when he accidentally bit the skin on the side of his nail.
Afterwards, he started to feel flu-like symptoms, but didn’t think much of it and continued to go to work despite feeling weird and being unable to focus.
“I had cold sweats, I was shaking, and then going hot. And then my finger started swelling up and I had this unbearable throbbing,” said Hanoman, reported by The Sun.
His mother checked up on him after he woke up at 2 p.m., since it was unusual for him to wake up so late.
She told him that he didn’t look right and called the ambulance. Hanoman was rushed to the emergency ward and upon arrival, he was put on a stretcher and a drip was inserted in his arm.
Red lines were found on his body — a common indication that he had an infection that was spreading, coupled with a high temperature.
Doctors treated him with antibiotics for four days in July 2017.
The staff told him he was lucky to be alive.
Antibiotics can treat an infection, but cannot treat sepsis. Infection is the phase when bacteria enters the body, and if the bacteria is left to thrive for a significant period of time, sepsis sets in.
Dr. Steven Simpson from the Sepsis Alliance told BuzzFeed that although antibiotics will kill the bacteria that initially caused the infection, once sepsis sets in, the immune system starts to attack the host’s body, causing a perpetual cycle of inflammation, organ damage, tissue damage, and potentially death.
A statistic by the Sepsis Alliance states that in 2014, sepsis costed American hospitals $27 billion annually. About 250,000 Americans die from sepsis each year, according to the CDC.