Zip line mishap - Young woman loses leg due to flesh-eating bacteria

Zip line mishap - Young woman loses leg due to flesh-eating bacteria

Carrollton : GA : USA | May 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM PDT
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Aimee Copeland Contracts Flesh Eating Bacteria After Zip Lining Accident

Aimee Copeland, who lost her leg after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria due to a zip-lining accident almost a week ago, is still struggling for her life. She is in critical condition at JMS Burn Center in Augusta, Ga.

According to, the young woman went for boating with her friends in Carollton, Georgia, and the group went zip lining with a homemade rope.

When it was Copeland’s turn to zip line, the line broke, she fell and injured her leg. Doctors think that her wound might have been contaminated with common water-borne bacteria known as Aeromonas hydrophila. The bacteria rarely cause life-threatening infection and unfortunately in her case the bacteria triggered a flesh-eating disease that can dissolve muscle.

Copeland, student of the University of West Georgia, returned to the hospital the very next day complaining of extreme pain. Doctors prescribed pain killers, and later on, antibiotics. By Friday, she was taken to the hospital in a critical condition, as she could barely move. She was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which had spread to a great extent and that necessitated her leg to be amputated up to her hip. The doctors removed infected tissue and she was taken to JMS Burns Centre in Augusta.

Her father said that doctors carried out a high-hip amputation of her left leg, and also removed part of her abdomen .She went into cardiac arrest at one point, but was successfully resuscitated.

According to the same report, Copeland’s father, Andy, told ABC affiliate WSBTV in Atlanta, “It’s a miracle she made it past Friday night.”

However, the disease can claim her other limbs, as according to the report, she might need amputation of her hands and right foot because of decreased blood flow.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a specific number of cases for the disease is not in records.

Copeland's father said that blood donations were needed to overcome necrotizing fasciitis. According to Fox News, he said, "I want to create awareness about giving blood for this particular disease.”

The family is organizing a blood drive next Tuesday at the West Georgia University.

Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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