Coroner's office: MUSC patient died from flesh-eating bacteria

Man dies from flesh-eating bacteria
Necrotizing fasciitis under a microscope.
Necrotizing fasciitis under a microscope.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Coroner's Office has confirmed a Medical University of South Carolina patient died Saturday from flesh-eating bacteria .

The coroner's office identified the victim as 55-year-old Anthony Hills, of Charleston. Officials say the bacteria started in Hills' right arm and right leg.

Family members say Hills had a swollen arm and was complaining of not feeling well before he was taken to MUSC on Saturday.  Doctors amputated his right arm and were considering amputating his left leg, according to the family.

He died hours after being admitted, said family members.

"It's a lightning strike kind of thing you know, where it just doesn't happen that often," said Dr. Michael Kilby, chief of infectious disease at MUSC. "But when it does it goes sour really fast and needs medical attention really quickly."

There have been a few other documented cases of the flesh-eating bacteria, called necrotizing fasciitis, in South Carolina.

In mid-June Roper St. Francis officials confirmed an adult male was admitted to the hospital.  His status is unknown.

In early May, a mother in the Upstate contracted the bacteria after her twins were born. Lana Kuykendall underwent 20 surgical procedures to stop the spread of the bacteria. Her treatment required aggressive surgical intervention, but no amputations.

Earlier this year, doctors at MUSC helped save the life of a 59-year-old Hilton Head man who contracted the rare strain of bacteria. Barry Ginn was taken to MUSC where doctors found the bacteria in his collarbone and left shoulder.

We're working to confirm more information. Continue checking for updates.

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