NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A Tennessee woman says she contracted flesh-eating bacteria from a nail salon and is warning other women after crediting hospital staff with saving her life.
Jayne Sharp of Knoxville tells FOX 17 News she was getting a manicure earlier this year when she felt a prick but initially wasn’t concerned. But within two hours, Sharp says she started feeling different. “The throbbing thumb occurred within two hours of leaving the salon and flu like symptoms were in place within 7 hours following the thumb throbbing,” Sharp says.
Sharp consulted one of her daughters who is an RN about the symptoms and her daughter told Sharp she should see a doctor. The NP at the doctor’s office marked Sharp with a marker to track the thumb injury since “they were pretty certain they were dealing with flesh eating bacteria,” Sharp says.
“I had a red streak that the NP marked with a magic marker and it extended to my wrist by the next morning,” Sharp says. The red streak continued to grow, growing beyond her elbow as Sharp slept. “The NP called, woke me up to check on me.” After being informed the streak had grown, the NP and her daughters urged Sharp to go to the emergency room. “Doctors in the ER said because she woke me up and asked about that red streak, that she saved my life.”
Sharp underwent two surgeries in Knoxville and a third at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. Sharp says she wanted to acknowledge the work of doctors there, including Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Sydney Hester and her hand surgeon Dr. Sam Crosby, who Sharp says went out of his way to care for her. Sharp says while her hand has been saved, she still has a numb thumb and two adjacent fingers. “I am reminded all day long about the ordeal I’ve been through (but) I’m grateful to be alive,” Sharp says.
Sharp adds she can’t expand too much on her ordeal due to advice from her lawyers but says “the rules in place for salon techs following a puncture wound were not followed.” She’s warning other women to be aware of the signs when getting manicures or pedicures to avoid a similar experience.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), consumers shouldn’t shave legs before pedicures since small cuts could allow bacteria to enter. They also add the same tools should never be used for a pedicure and manicure since bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes. Sharp tools should also not be used to clean under nails and consumers should not allow techs to use a foot razor to remove skin since it can “easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.”