KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Local) — A Tennessee woman says she almost lost her arm to flesh-eating bacteria after getting a manicure at a nail salon. Jayne Sharp said she was getting a manicure at Jazzy Nail Bar in Knoxville earlier this year when she “got poked in the thumb.”
Sharp said she didn’t think anything of it. But within “a couple of hours,” she says her thumb started “throbbing” and experienced flu-like symptoms.
Sharp said one of her daughters, who is a registered nurse, urged her to see a doctor. By he next morning, the swelling had extended to her elbow and she was rushed to the emergency room. She was told it was necrotizing fasciitis, better known as flesh-eating bacteria.
“The doctors told us had I waited another hour it might not be a good situation,” Sharp told CBS affiliate WTVF. “I think of the man in Florida was dead in 48 hours from flesh eating bacteria.”
Tennessee woman almost loses her thumb, says she contracted flesh-eating bacteria from nail salonhttps://t.co/5ppPPSan1j
— NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) September 24, 2019
Sharp underwent multiple surgeries in Knoxville and Nashville. She said it took her months to feel normal and her thumb is still numb.
“I’m just lucky to be alive,” she said.
Sharp said she is pursuing legal action against the nail salon.
A Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) spokesperson said no problems were found at the salon during its annual inspection or during a follow-up inspection after Sharp’s complaint, WBIR reported.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist with Vanderbilt, told WTVF these kinds of infections are quite rare but can happen. Bacteria is introduced under the skin through some sort of cut or injury.
“Keeping [your wounds] clean, keep it covered — that’s the important thing,” he said. “And then watch it very carefully.”