News

Underestimated Risks: Chewing fingernails can also lead to death


Young Brit was in mortal danger after chewing fingernails

Chewing fingernails is common. Many people have gotten used to chewing their fingernails, especially in stressful situations - but many children also tend to chew their fingernails. But this is not without danger, as a recent patient case in Great Britain showed. There, a young man was at times in mortal danger because he contracted sepsis.

Chewing fingernails can be dangerous

Chewing fingernails is common. According to estimates, up to 40 percent of children and around ten percent of adults nibble on their nails again and again. Stress is usually the reason that the fingers automatically move to the mouth and nibble on them. But sometimes there are also banal causes such as boredom. The results of nail biting not only look ugly, they also ensure that pathogens have an easier time of it. A young family man from Great Britain also had to experience this. He almost died from chewing nails.

The patient initially thought he was suffering from the flu

28-year-old Luke Hanoman from Birkdale, Southport, is happy to be alive after getting blood poisoning (sepsis) from fingernail chewing, according to a report by The Sun newspaper in the UK.

According to the newspaper, the father of two began to feel uncomfortable after biting the skin on the side of his fingernail.

He had flu-like symptoms for a week while the infection spread through his blood.

Finally, he was taken to the hospital, where he spent four days under 24-hour observation and was told by the doctors that he "could be happy to be alive."

Now that he is fit again, he wants to work for a better awareness of the symptoms of sepsis.

Blood poisoning risks are often underestimated

In this country too, the dangers of blood poisoning are often underestimated.

Sepsis can be manifested by a number of symptoms: fever, malaise, chills, very low blood pressure, high pulse and rapid, shallow breathing are typical signs.

If left untreated, the blood pressure drops so much that vital organs such as the heart, lungs and brain are no longer adequately supplied with oxygen. This can result in confusion and impaired kidney function.

If multiple organs are affected, one speaks of multi-organ failure. "Such a condition is acutely life-threatening and must be treated in an intensive care unit as soon as possible," explains Dr. Johannes Kalbhenn, Managing Senior Physician Intensive Therapy at the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at the University Medical Center Freiburg in a message.

Bitten skin on fingernail

Luke Hanoman also showed some of the typical symptoms after biting off the skin on the side of a fingernail.

"It hurt a bit, but I didn't think anything of it," the 28-year-old told "Sun".

"I was at work all week and started getting flu-like symptoms that were gradually getting worse," said the Briton.

He suffered from night sweats, chills and hot flashes. Still, the young man went on to work.

Only when the finger he had been chewing on recently swelled a lot did he think something was wrong.

"I started to get really weird and I couldn't concentrate."

Raise awareness of sepsis

At the weekend he decided to rest and stayed in bed for a long time. When his mother came to visit to inquire about his condition, she noticed that her son was seriously ill and took him to a clinic, where he was immediately hung on the drip.

At that point his whole body was already covered with red lines. An indication that the infection on his finger had gotten out of control and caused blood poisoning.

The patient was hospitalized for four days and given antibiotics. "It was pretty scary," said the man. He was close to septic shock.

“The doctors and nurses were really good. They didn't tell me how bad it was, they tried not to worry me too much, ”said the family man.

"When I got better, they told me I was lucky to be alive."

Now he wants to raise awareness of blood poisoning: “I had no idea what sepsis was and I had no idea what symptoms to look out for. There has to be a lot more awareness about it. "

He pointed out how important it is for people to know that it can affect anyone of any age. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Biting His Nails Left Him Fighting for His Life. This Morning (August 2020).