LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A woman from Kentucky got an infection partly from wearing hair ties, as reported earlier this week by WGAL News.
About two weeks ago, Audree Kopp noticed a bump growing in her wrist and assumed it was due to a spider bite or anything else. She then went to the doctor, who prescribed her antibiotics.
Since the bump was getting worse, she went back to find she had three bacteria: strep, staph and poly negative, which is so severe that typical antibiotics cause no effect.
As many other women, Audree Kopp used to wear hair ties around her wrist to make sure she had one whenever she wanted to put her hair up. Of course, she did not expect that such an apparently beneficial habit would cause her a life-threatening infection.
Kopp documented her painful experience through more than a dozen Facebook posts, and explained that she caught the infection by rubbing a small scratch on her wrist, which got infected with the bacteria from the glittering tie she had been wearing for a long time.
She was admitted to the emergency room and then transported by ambulance to another hospital to go through emergency surgery. However, it could have been a lot worse if she had not gone to the hospital in time. For instance, the infection could have entered to her bloodstream and cause sepsis, which usually begins with fever, increased heart rate and breathing rate, and confusion.
“My white cell count was thru the roof, and I was lucky to have NOT had sepsis. The doctor advised if you DO want to wear hair ties on your wrist…make sure they’re the plastic no slip ones I posted. And make sure when washing your hands…u go up your wrist and wash the tie”, she posted. Some materials are more likely to collect bacteria that eventually get rubbed into the skin.
Kopp made sure a lot of people knew about her case so they could avoid having to face the hard time she had to go through. She asked people to share her story on Facebook and dozens of news channels covered her case.
Nevertheless, such infections are not limited to using hair ties. Health care experts warn that wearing a wristwatch for long periods poses the exact same risk. To reduce risk, people should keep their accessories clean by washing them each time they wash their hands with warm water and soap. Keeping a healthy immune system is also very important.
However, even with precautions infections can still happen. Doctors recommend visiting the hospital once people notice the least signals of an infection in order to reduce the risk of more serious inflammatory reactions such as sepsis, which sometimes can be deadly.