Oxygen Aids Patient With Flesh-Eating Germ


Sunday, July 17, 1994
Valley Edition
Section: Metro
Page: B-5

Oxygen Aids Patient With Flesh-Eating Germ

Pure oxygen treatments have begun to kill the virulent strep
infection that was destroying the skin and tissue on a Fillmore woman's
leg, according to officials at Los Robles Regional Medical Center.

Guadalupe Pulido, 63, was rushed to the Thousand Oaks hospital Friday
for special therapy to treat a condition popularly known as "flesh-eating
bacteria." What started as a pimple a week earlier had spread from her
groin to her knee and across her leg.

Dr. J.B. Wilmeth, who runs the hospital's hyperbaric medicine
department, described Pulido's condition Saturday as critical but
definitely improving, said a nurse working with him.

Pulido could be finished with the hyperbaric treatments within two
days, but it is too early to tell what kind of follow-up treatment she
will need, according to Wilmeth. Some victims require skin grafts, while
others have enough healthy tissue that the sore can heal naturally, the
doctor said.

On Friday, Wilmeth began treating Pulido in the hospital's hyperbaric
chamber, a pressurized metallic cylinder that allows doctors to
administer doses of 100% oxygen to patients. The oxygen helps kill the
streptococcus bacteria and other germs causing the infection. It also
makes the skin and tissue surrounding the open sore healthier and more
resistant to the spread.

Copyright 1994 Los Angeles Times
Reprinted with Permission