Hadassah Doctors Save Boy From Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus in Yerushalayim. (Haddasah Medical Center)
Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus in Yerushalayim. (Haddasah Medical Center)

By Hamodia Staff

YERUSHALAYIM – A five-year-old boy was saved from a potentially lethal bacterial infection, thanks to the diagnostic expertise of doctors at Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus in Yerushalayim, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

“If they didn’t get to the hospital in time, he probably would have died,” said Dr. Rivka Brooks, head of the pediatric intermediate care unit.

HUMC staff identified the boy’s condition as necrotizing fasciitis, more popularly known as “flesh-eating bacteria,” after he arrived with a high fever and other symptoms indicating possible bacterial infection. The rare disorder starts in the tissues just below the skin and spreads along the flat layers of tissue (fascia) that separate different layers of soft tissue such as muscle and fat. It results in death in about a third or more of cases.

“My son awoke in the morning and complained of pain in his knee. Besides that, he acted normally and went to kindergarten. But two hours later the kindergarten teacher called to say he had a fever. He was already pale, so I took him to the doctor, who said he had a viral condition.”

By evening, he was feeling worse, and had broken out in a red rash. “When I pressed the spots, they didn’t disappear. I thought it was strange. I know my son, and when he has a fever but gets Nurofen, he usually functions,” the father continued. “I consulted with his doctor, who said to take him to Mount Scopus. He was right. They took us immediately and suspected meningitis. My son became more sleepy and apathetic, and his blood pressure declined. The treatment they gave him started to help. He was moved to intensive care, and since then his condition has improved.”

The child was still in intensive care, but his condition is improving and he is out of danger, said Brooks. Tests confirmed that he indeed had streptococcus pyogenes that developed from meningitis. “There is no doubt that paying attention to these symptoms saved his life.”

She urged parents who notice unusual symptoms like these in their children to take them to an emergency room immediately.