Women attacked by flesh-eating bacteria after injecting ‘bath salts’


A New Orleans woman attacked by flesh-eating bacteria after injecting the increasingly popular drug "bath salts" has had her arm and shoulder amputated, according to reports.

According to NPR, the 34-year-old presented at the Louisiana Health Sciences Center in August 2011 with a painful, swollen arm showing a small red puncture mark after attending a party, ABC News reported

According to NPR:

The doctors cut open the skin on the woman's forearm and discovered a raging infection and dead muscle. They knew immediately that she was in serious trouble.

As they cut skin farther up her arm in an effort to find healthy tissue, the infection was moving so fast they could see flesh dying right before their eyes.

The woman told orthopedic resident Dr. Robert Russo that she had injected "bath salts" at a party the night before she came to the hospital, according to a case report that Russo wrote in the journal Orthopedics.

Doctors ultimately amputated the woman's entire right arm and shoulder, and performed a radical mastectomy to stop the infection.

Russo suggested that the flesh-eating bacteria entered the woman’s arm from the needle she used or in the bath salts themselves

“And the risks of using this drug, it’s not just getting your arm taken off. The drug is crazy,” he said, ABC reported.

The name "bath salts," NPR wrote, covers "several synthetic chemicals, including mephedrone and MDPV, short for methylenedioxypyrovalerone, that give a stimulant high similar to meth or cocaine."

The drug has also been called Vanilla Sky and Ivory Wave.

The Drug Enforcement Administration made the drug illegal in September.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.