Why you really shouldn’t go swimming with a new tattoo: Man ignores advice to wait for 2 weeks and DIES after catching a flesh-eating bug and developing sepsis.
A Hispanic man died after developing sepsis when his fresh tattoo wound became infected from swimming in the sea.
The unidentified 31-year-old ignored advice given to those with new inkings that they should wait for two weeks before venturing into pools or oceans.
Instead, he decided to venture into the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico just five days after obtaining a religious cross on his right calf.
But because his wound was still fresh, it became contaminated with a flesh-eating bacteria that tore chunks out of his skin and ultimately led to his death.
The day after he went swimming, he developed a fever, chills and a red rash close to his tattoo, experts wrote in the BMJ Case Reports.
His condition continued to worsen over the next two days, before he was eventually admitted to hospital, they said.
Doctors were concerned about the patches on his legs which had turned purple – which can be seen in many infections.
They immediately suspected the vibrio vulnificus bug to be responsible because the man already suffered from cirrhosis, which was caused by the man’s daily habits of drinking six 340ml (12 fl oz) bottles of beer daily.
Because of his weakened liver, he was deemed at high risk of catching such an infection, the experts said.
It is believed that patients with chronic liver disease have low amounts of neutrophils – important white blood cells that help to fight bugs.
He was given antibiotics to help fight the deadly bacteria, which kills around 60 per cent of those who catch it.
Within just 24 hours of being admitted to hospital, doctors were forced to place him on a life support machine as his organs began to fail.
He battled to fight through the septic shock, triggered when an infection sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs.
After two weeks of being in hospital, his symptoms had finally started to clear-up and doctors were hopeful of letting him return home.
But his body succumbed to septic shock just weeks later while he was still receiving care, causing his kidneys to fail completely.
He died two months after he was initially admitted to hospital.
The authors wrote that this method of being infected is the least common, with it happening more often through the ingestion of raw oysters.
They said all patients with chronic liver disease should be instructed to avoid both possible methods of catching the bug.
Tattoo artists should urge people to wait for at least two weeks before going swimming, but others ask to give the wound a little longer to heal.
Submerging the open sores in water, whether it is from a pool, bath or seawater poses a threat of infection, experts warn.
Various blog posts regarding the after-care of a new tattoo and certain things that they shouldn’t do can be found on the internet.