INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Kylei Parker was a healthy, active 12-year-old girl, but it only took a trip to the beach until her life was in danger.
"This disease is very overwhelming and very rapidly progressive and can develop in any patient population, whether or not they were previously healthy," Dr. Kamal Abulebda, an intensive care doctor for children at the Riley Children's Hospital.
Kylei had a cut from a skateboard accident before her trip to Destin, Florida. After a dip in the ocean, she felt a pressure in her leg.
When she returned to Indiana, her leg was swollen and her body was in a state of septic shock. According to doctors, this is a deadly combination with a sombre attitude.
"In the pediatric population, the risk of death from septic shock, low blood pressure and necrotizing fasciitis is much higher. "Said Dr. Abulebda.
At the Riley emergency room, doctors found that Kylei had a rare infection called necrotizing fasciitis. Every third person who suffers from the infection dies from it. Kylei was quickly admitted to emergency surgery.
"We can treat many of the infections in the intensive care unit only with antibiotics and supportive care, but there are certain infections such as necrotizing fasciitis that will not give you much time to treat, it does not give you much time to think" said. Dr. Abulebda. "You have to be very quick and urgent, as you recognize it, order the right test, talk to the appropriate counseling service and the surgery service to fix the problem before it becomes irreversible."
Through emergency surgery doctors were able to remove the infection and rescue Kyleis leg.
"I think she's really lucky," Dr. Abulebda If we have this type of infection, necrotizing fasciitis, we can not save the extremities because they are already dead, and you can not save anything.
Dr. Abulebda does not often see this infection but has seen it before. In some cases he has seen patients die from it. He says Kylei and her mother made the right choice at the doctor's visit.
"If this had gone undetected overnight or for one or two more days, there is probably a high probability that we could not save their extremities or another negative result would have occurred," said Dr. Abulebda.
Thanks Kylie hopes to return to her softball team with physical therapy.
For now, Kylie and her mother hope to spread awareness so that others know the signs of this rare infection and know when to seek medical help
"Without the quick reactions and aggressive treatments, I would not have them," said Kylei's mother, Michelle Brown said while holding back tears. "I was a person who had no idea, and I had to learn very quickly. "
This infection is rare but can happen. It usually penetrates through an off A cut or an open wound in the body had scratched her toe. It is important to keep cuts and scratches always clean and covered with a bandage.
The CDC provides further information on necrotizing fasciitis.