A hiker in Hawaii was impaled by a tree and infected with a rare carnivorous bacterium that caused her leg to rot, according to a report.
The 72-year-old woman was hiking in a lava field when she lost her balance and was hit by a branch near the ground, according to a case study published Tuesday in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports.
She visited a local clinic six days later, received stitches, and was sent home with a course of antibiotics, the researchers said.
But after she ran out of medication, she worried about discoloration on the skin and a foul-smelling liquid on the wound, Newsweek reported.
She visited an emergency room in Washington state, where she was diagnosed with a rare carnivorous bacterium known as Leclercia adecarboxylata or L. adecarboxylata, the researchers said.
The researchers said the pathogen found in aquatic environments is rare among patients with healthy immune systems, although it may be responsible for death.
The woman underwent surgery to cut the infection from her leg and then was discharged with other antibiotics six days later, the researchers said.
In their findings, the researchers urge doctors to consider bacteria as a possible cause of infection even among patients who are not immunocompromised, the outlet reported.