Kentucky woman undergoes operation after hair tie causes dangerous infection

(Photo: Alicia Fagerving/Wikimedia Commons)

(WRIC/ABC) — A Kentucky woman is recovering after a hairband led to a serious infection that required surgery on Monday.

Dr. Amit Gupta, a hand surgeon at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, had to perform an operation on Audree Kopp after finding a large abscess over her wrist. Gupta said he found bacteria in the wound that’s usually consistent with bacteria found in the mouth.

“[Bacteria] got into that area and caused a localized infection,” Gupta told ABC News, explaining that, he believes the bacteria on the hairband likely got into a small cut on her wrist. “This is very rare, in my 25 years of experience I’ve never seen this.”

Gupta said the infection spread quickly and that Kopp took oral antibiotics before arriving at the hospital for treatment.

“The amount of bacteria that she had, it can spread very rapidly,” Gupta said. “Obviously she was getting to the point that if she had waited for a day or two,” it could have been bad.

Gupta said Kopp likely won’t have any lasting effects from the infection, except for a scar where it was removed. He emphasized that an infection from a hair-tie is extremely, extremely unlikely for most people, but that anyone with cut that looks infected should seek medical attention. Gupta said warning signs include, fever, red streaks near the wound, redness or swelling.

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