A UK dad is happy to be alive after a nearly-fatal blood infection. Luke Hanoman, a 28-year-old father of two from Southport in England, never realized his nail-biting habit could be life-threatening.
He told The Sun that for a week he battled terrible flu-like symptoms as he struggled at work and home. One night he went to bed and after sleeping past two in the afternoon the next day, his mother – who stopped by to check on him – rushed him to the hospital.
It was there that Luke and his family were stunned to learn he was suffering from a sepsis infection. He soon recalled when the symptoms first began:
“And one day I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn’t think anything of it. I was in work throughout the week and started to get flu-like symptoms which were gradually getting worse.
I had cold sweats, I was shaking, and then going hot. And then my finger started swelling up and I had this unbearable throbbing. I started going really weird and I couldn’t focus.”
When he arrived at the hospital, he had telltale signs of a spreading infection including red lines in his skin and high fever. Doctors told him that he is very fortunate to be alive given that he almost went into septic shock.
What happens with sepsis is that it unfolds in several phases. Initially, an infection reaches the bloodstream and causes inflammation in the body. A patient will exhibit flu-like symptoms such as fever,confusion, lethargy, increased heart rate, trouble breathing, chills, and pale skin.
As it advances, organ and tissue damage can occur, affecting the lungs, kidneys, heart and other parts of the body. Septic shock is the last stage where six in ten patients don’t survive. In addition to all the other symptoms mentioned, the blood pressure drops extremely low and it is very difficult to breathe.
Immediate medical attention is required to prevent death, so Mr. Hanoman is extraordinarily lucky that he lasted a week without treatment and then pulled through with medical intervention. He spent four days in the hospital receiving treatment which included antibiotics and IV infusions.
Although his infection began in the finger, doctors caution that the way Hanoman contracted sepsis from nail-biting is actually rare. Sepsis can affect anyone at any age, and can result from open wounds, pneumonia, UTIs, viral infections, and other health issues.
As for the nail-biting/skin-chewing habit, like many people Mr. Hanoman does it out of nervousness. More than likely he left his skin open to germs and bacteria when he bit off too much. If you’re a nail-biter too, keep in mind that at any given time there are microbes lurking on the skin and under the nails. The nibbling can cause it to spread.
Today, Mr. Hanoman is back in good health but considers his nail-biting to be a thing of the past. We can’t say we blame him.
What do you think of Mr. Hanoman’s story? Are you also a nail-biter? Will this sepsis scare make you think twice about your habit?