A man’s habit of biting his nails almost cost him his life, making him realize that there might be mor severe consequences to the seemingly innocuous practice.
Luke Hanoman, 28 years old, knew that biting his nails was not a good habit, but the father of two continued to do so, The Sacramento Bee reports. Hanoman said,
It was a nervous thing. And one day I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn’t think anything of it.
In the following days, Hanoman started feeling flu-like symptoms, and his finger became swollen, but he kept going to work despite not feeling well. He said, “I started going really weird and I couldn’t focus.”
Hanoman accidentally slept until 2:00 in the afternoon on his day off, and his mother rushed him to the emergency room when they noticed red lines all over his body. Doctors diagnosed Hanoman with sepsis caused by his infected finger, and told him that he had been very close to death.
Hanoman said, “It was quite scary. They told me I was lucky to make it so long. I was close to septic shock.”
Sepsis is a massive response of the immune system to an infection. If ignored, this can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and at the worst, death. Every year, over 1.7 million people in the United States are diagnosed with sepsis, and around 270,000 die of the infection. Sepsis is the primary cause of death among patients who are already in the hospital.
Symptoms include fever, chills, pale or discolored skin, pain, shortness of breath, and lethargy, according to Sepsis Alliance.
Dr. Steven Simpson, the medical director of the Sepsis Alliance, said, “Waiting too long is dangerous. When you have these kinds of symptoms people need to seek medical attention.”
Hanoman spent four days recovering from the infection in the hospital.