Texas Man Dies From Swimming After Getting a New Tattoo
A prominent medical journal has published a story of a 31-year-old Texas man who died from swimming in the Gulf of Mexico after getting a tattoo.
BMJ Case Reports published the story last week of a Texas man who got a tattoo of a cross on his right calf with the words "Jesus Is My Life" written underneath. Going against post-tattoo instructions, the man went for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico just five days later. Three days after that, he was admitted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, complaining of a fever and pain in his legs. According to Dr. Nicholas Hendren, the lead author on the report, the man's condition quickly worsened,
Within a few hours, things had progressed pretty quickly. There's darkening skin changes, more bruising, more discoloration, what we call bullae - or mounds of fluid that were starting to collect in his legs - which, of course, if very alarming to anyone as it was to us.
He was already in the early stages of septic shock, and his kidney had already had some injury. Very quickly, his septic shock progressed from ... early stages to severe stages very rapidly, within 12 hours or so, which is typical for this type of infection.
Dr. Hendren also reported that the man's condition was compounded by liver disease and alcoholism, with patient having regularly consumed six 12-oz. beers a day.
As tattoo artists will attest, clients are instructed to keep fresh tattoos clean and avoid soaking them until its had time to heal. Five days was not enough time for this man's tattoo to heal, making him susceptible to Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which leads to around 100 deaths a year in America. Two months after being admitted to the hospital, the patient died of septic shock.
According to CNN, most medical journals will publish a patient's initials, but as the case was so rare, the journal withheld his initials to prevent others for figuring out his identity, only referring to him as a 31-year-old Latino man from Texas.