Rare strep infection leads to amputation of hands, feet

A rare complication from a strep throat infection resulted in a Michigan-based man needing amputations, according to a WKRN report.

The man went to the emergency room at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in late December 2016 after experiencing severe stomach pain. His organs then started failing, and his body started redirecting blood to those organs instead of his extremities. The man went into organ failure and severe septic shock.

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After discovering the man's son had suffered from a bout of strep throat shortly before the man became ill, physicians ran tests and found the bacteria had traveled from the man's throat to his belly.

"That strep organism, which is really common, somehow that went from his pharynx in his throat and made its way into his abdominal cavity," Elizabeth Steensma, MD, an acute care surgeon at the hospital, told CNN.

There have been around 32 cases like this in the world thus far, and only two involving men, according to a Spectrum Health physician.

Because blood was redirected to his organs and not his extremities, the man will have both of his feet partially amputated, as well as his left hand and fingers on his left hand. He is on the road to recovery, however.

Strep throat, a common ailment caused by a group A Streptococcus bacteria, typically affects the throat and tonsils, according to the CDC. It is usually treated with oral antibiotics. 

More article on healthcare quality:
Inappropriate syringe reuse led to hep C transmission in Texas hospital, CDC says
Hospital quality measures need work: Mass General experts weigh in
The power of an apology post-medical error: 5 key points

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