Gabrielle Barbosa, a resident of Rio de Janeiro, initially sought medical care for a urinary tract infection (UTI) but tragically ended up having her hands and feet amputated. According to Globo, the UTI, which occurred in December 2022, was treated with antibiotics, but the infection did not fully clear up.
In March of this year, Barbosa started experiencing complications with her kidneys. “One day, while at work, I felt kidney pain and was rushed to the hospital, but they dismissed it as renal colic. They put me on a drip, but I experienced severe vomiting,” Barbosa shared with Globo. “Tests revealed that my infection had already spread.” Despite this alarming development, she was sent home.
“The doctors now admit that I should not have been discharged, but they sent me home. When I arrived, I fainted,” she recounted.
Barbosa required urgent medical attention; however, there was a shortage of available beds at the hospital, as reported by Globo. By the time she was finally admitted, her condition had deteriorated significantly.
“I was admitted to the hospital on March 31, but I was already in critical condition,” she revealed. “I was intubated and suffered two cardiac arrests. I remained in an induced coma for six days, and when I woke up, I discovered that my hands and feet were bandaged. The doctors took some time to inform me that they would need to amputate, but I had already sensed it.”
Barbosa remained composed and simply wanted to know if she could still lead a “normal life” and maintain her independence, she expressed to the news outlet. She is currently undergoing physical therapy and adjusting to her new circumstances.
Urinary tract infections are typically caused by the entry of bacteria into the urinary tract and are usually treated successfully with a course of antibiotics. They can stem from various factors such as sexual activity, prolonged urine retention, and dehydration. Symptoms often subside shortly after starting medication.
However, in severe cases, the infection can spread. If the bacteria associated with the infection reaches the kidneys, it may enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that, if not promptly treated, can cause cardiac failure.
In some instances, septic shock can result in the formation of small blood clots, obstructing blood flow to the arms, hands, legs, and feet, which can necessitate limb amputations. As a consequence, the affected tissues begin to undergo necrosis.