Health Care

Woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in Florida

Woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in Florida”

"They said that they thought it was an abscess or something under the skin", said Carol Martin's husband, Richard Martin.

The mother of four and grandmother of seven died inside of her home Saturday.

"Like a penny or a dime. It was small. She thought it was a pimple", Richard tells WDAF, saying it grew bigger and more painful over time.

He told Tampa's WFLA News Channel 8 he thinks Carol could have contracted the bacteria from a hot tub at a Days Inn the couple had stayed at in the Tampa Bay area.

"The way they handled all this is screwed up", said Martin. "She was the only one that got in the hot tub", he told the station.

He stated that since his wife did not have medical insurance, the doctors quickly dismissed her concerns and did not give her the proper treatment. "I come home early in the morning and found her passed away", Martin said. Martin and his wife went to the doctor three times at Franciscan Health immediate care then to the Franscican Health ER. "Every year, she couldn't wait to get to Florida to be there, you know", Richard Martin said. "Mother's Day ... all ruined forever", Martin said.

"At least by the second time they should have decided 'this is growing and maybe we should take a culture of it and see what it is, '" Martin said.

"In the emergency room they said 'we are sorry but she has a flesh-eating bacteria, we have to rush her to surgery right now, '" said Richard.

Her death has not officially been ruled the result of flesh-eating bacteria. The infection, however, worsened, and biopsy revealed that Carol actually contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a serious bacterial infection also known as flesh-eating disease.

"The first line of defense against this disease is strong antibiotics given through a needle into a vein (IV antibiotics)", the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"It's really hard when you have to treat a patient like this because things can go badly very quickly", said Giovinco.

"She loved going down to the racetrack".

An autopsy was completed after Martin's death. "Because of federal privacy guidelines, Franciscan Health can not provide any details about the patients care as were committed to protecting personal health information".

"I mean these days are ruined ..."

Carol's family says they are seeking legal help to get answers to their questions they say they have been asking the hospital for months.

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