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Meds and you

27 June 2018

SEE: SA woman survives life-threatening infection around her facial prosthetic

After surviving a horrific accident, Vanessa Carter had to fight off a life-threatening infection caused by excessive antibiotic use.

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Vanessa Carter was involved in a massive car accident, which left her with multiple breaks in her facial bones and the loss of her right eye after her head smashed into the dashboard of the vehicle.

Over a period of years, Carter underwent several surgeries to mend her facial injuries, which included getting a prosthetic implanted, as much of the structural bone could not be salvaged. Then, one day, after grocery shopping, she felt liquid leaking from her face and immediately called her doctor.

Carter was told she had an infection around the prosthetic. The process entailed removing dead tissue from the prosthetic and the surrounding areas which caused the infection in her face.

Discovering the infection

For almost a year, the process had to be repeated because the infection kept returning. She was taking antibiotics during this time.

She visited doctor after doctor until her plastic surgeon sent her prosthetic and blood for testing. When the results came back, Carter was told she had a potentially life-threatening infection – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – which was aggravated by the antibiotics previous doctors had prescribed.

Once her condition was better understood, Carter had another two surgical procedures and hasn't looked back. She says there needs to be more education around excessive use of antibiotics and how it can aggravate drug-resistant bacteria to multiply.