Stacey Alexander-Harriss, a 42-year-old woman has died after being bitten by a dog – leading to her contracting a rare infection.
The woman was out walking two of her own dogs when the incident happened on June 15 last year.
She initially bandaged the bite and, at least superficially, the wound appeared to be healing. However, she was rushed to hospital after becoming unwell two days later, MyLondon reports.
Paramedics suspected sepsis and rushed her to King George Hospital in Ilford, London.
Stacey, a children's author, arrived at the emergency department at 7.04pm on June 17, where it was noted she was “very unwell” with a metabolic acidosis – a condition where there is too much acid in the body’s fluids.
She was placed on IV fluid resuscitation shortly after her arrival and, within an hour, underwent a clinical examination that included venous blood gas, laboratory bloods being taken, IV fluids, oxygen being provided, painkillers administered and chest x-rays.
Her care was also escalated to an emergency department consultant.
The full blood count led to a diagnosis of neutropenic sepsis and she was put on IV Tazocin, an antibiotic administered via drip, at around 8.35pm.
She was then transferred to the intensive therapy unit of the hospital and was receiving one-to-one care.
However, Stacey suffered a cardiac arrest in the early hours of June 18 and, despite the efforts of doctors, could not be resuscitated.
A blood test after her death revealed the bacterial growth of Capncytophagia canimorsus, an organism commonly found in the mouth of dogs.
Following an inquest into her death at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court on April 28, Area Coroner Nadia Persaud gave a cause of death as “an overwhelming bacterial infection caused by a dog bite”.
The coroner has written a public warning in a Prevention of Future Deaths report to warn the public to “seek urgent medical attention” if a person from a relevant underlying illness becomes unwell from a dog bite.
The report details how attending doctors were “not familiar with this type of bacteria” and that earlier administration of Tazocin IV might have resulted in Stacey’s life being saved.
The full details of the coroner’s “matters of concern” can be found below.
Stacey, originally born in North Carolina, took a picture of herself in ICU just hours before she suffered a cardiac arrest.
She also posted a picture of her bandaged hand a day after the incident.
Source: Daily Star UK