September 30, 2020 | 4:52pm
A hiker in Hawaii was impaled by a tree — and became infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria that caused her leg to rot, according to a report.
The 72-year-old woman was hiking on a lava field when she lost her balance and became struck by a branch close to the ground, according to a case study published Tuesday in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports.
She visited a local clinic six days later, received stitches and was sent home with a course of antibiotics, researchers said.
But after she finished the drugs, she became concerned about discoloring on her skin and a foul-smelling liquid on the wound, Newsweek reported.
She visited a Washington state emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacteria known as Leclercia adecarboxylata or L. adecarboxylata, researchers said.
Researchers said the pathogen found in aquatic environments is rare among patients with a healthy immune system, though can be responsible for death.
The woman underwent surgery to cut the infection out of her leg and then was discharged with more antibiotics six days later, researchers said.
In their findings, the researchers urge physicians to consider the bacteria as a possible cause of infection even among patients who are not immunocompromised, the outlet reported.