Medical University Hospital treated a man from Hilton Head for a flesh-eating bacteria, according to Vera Ford, director of development for the hospital’s surgery department.
Barry Ginn was treated at MUSC for necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that attacks soft tissue and muscle that can lead to amputation and even death, according to The Island Packet.
He was treated in February, and underwent nine surgeries in four days to remove most of his upper shoulder and a large portion of his upper arm.
Ginn’s is among the recent reports of necrotizing fasciitis in the South. Aimee Copeland of Carrollton, Ga.; Lana Kuykendall in Greenville; and Bobby Vaughn of Cartersville, Ga., had also been infected, according to media reports.
MUSC’s staff would not comment on Ginn’s case except to say the hospital was able to “save his life,” said Tony Ciuffo, who works in media relations.
“We almost lost him several times,” Ford said.
The infection was not waterborne, Ford said, but likely stemmed from an earlier staph infection.
It is not clear whether other cases of the flesh-eating bacteria are present in South Carolina, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control does not maintain statewide records of such infections, according to Jim Beasley of DHEC.
“[Necrotizing fasciitis] is not a ‘reportable condition’ in South Carolina primarily because it is not a health condition that can be prevented through public health interventions,” Beasley said in an email response.
Read more in Saturday’s editions of The Post and Courier.