Woman Has to Undergo a Liver Transplant After Nose Piercing Leads to Life-Threatening Condition
abc7 Dana Smith
A New Yorker recovering from a nasal stabbing infection resulted in a life-threatening illness and required a liver transplant.
37-year-old Dana Smith from Queens got a nose piercing shortly after Thanksgiving, CBS New York reported on Thursday.
About a month later, Smith developed a stomach ache but was reluctant to go to the hospital because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to CBS New York, Smith described her symptoms as "stomach ache. I felt as if I had somehow lost my appetite."
"I didn't want to go to the hospital with COVID," she told the point of sale. But the pain got so bad that "it got to a point where I felt I had no choice".
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"I just drank water, I couldn't hold onto the water," Smith told ABC 7, revealing that her symptoms escalated so much that she "started throwing blood."
Her sister took her to Long Island Jewish Medical Center on Jan. 12, where doctors quickly determined that she needed a liver transplant and had fulminant hepatitis B, reported ABC 7.
According to the Merck Manual, fulminant hepatitis "is a rare syndrome of rapid (usually within days or weeks), massive necrosis of the liver parenchyma and decrease in liver size" that "occurs normally after infection with certain hepatitis viruses, alcoholic hepatitis, or a drug occurs "-induced liver injury (DILI). "
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Smith was rushed to North Shore University Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma while waiting for a match for the transplant. One was found within 48 hours and operated on January 17th.
Although doctors quickly diagnosed Smith, it was initially a mystery what caused the fulminant hepatitis B.
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Through an elimination process, medical professionals determined that the culprit was an infection from the undetected nose piercing.
"This was the only unique change in her life, that nose ring," said Dr. Lewis Teperman, Northwell Transplant Services Director. "And it's the perfect time to incubate the virus."
Smith, who returned home on Jan. 26, attributes the saving of her life to the decision to finally go to the hospital - and shares her story so she can help someone else who needs to be hospitalized for treatment receive.
"It's very overwhelming. Emotionally everything, mentally," she told ABC 7.
On CBS New York, Smith added, "Even if COVID is on, you should still be checked out because you never know. That one decision saved my life."
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