Man with new tattoo dies after getting flesh eating bacteria while swimming

BMJ Case Reports
BMJ Case Reports
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03 June, 2017

In a devastating display of what can happen when a fresh tattoo becomes exposed, a man has died fighting an infection after taking a swim in the ocean with newly acquired ink.

It's alleged the man went for a dip in the Gulf of Mexico just five days after getting the tattoo. Summer is always a particularly popular time for tats, but as it turns out, it's also a time to exercise extreme caution, as heading to the beach or poolside immediately after your latest ink session could get you very, very sick. Shortly after swimming, he began to experience fever, chills and a rash close to the new tattoo, Yahoo7 reports. Soon after the man arrived at the hospital, the red, painful lesions on his legs turned purple, and he developed large blisters filled with fluid. But afterward, his condition worsened again, and about two months later, he died due to complications related to liver damage, kidney failure and destroyed tissue in his skin lesions, the report said.

The Metro report added that there may have been some other factors in the man's death and infection by flesh-eating bacteria. He later died of septic shock.

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As anyone who's gotten a tattoo before knows, aftercare is the most important part of keeping your new masterpiece looking its best.

Standard advice is to not go into open water within two weeks after getting a tattoo.

The 31-year-old man fell victim to a flesh eating bacteria that festered inches deep into his calf where a tattoo of a cross had been placed. "It's a breach of the skin". These include staph infections, which can be similarly unsafe, as well as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, or any other infection that may be caused by a procedure involving needles.


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