Canadian man contracts deadly infection after dentist visit

<i>Image via New England Journal of Medicine</i>
Image via New England Journal of Medicine

A man has developed a bulging lump in his hand, relating to a deadly heart infection that was triggered during a routine trip to the dentist, doctors say.

The 27-year-old from Vancouver was diagnosed with endocarditis which causes inflammation of the heart’s inner lining and can lead to heart failure.

Medics believe the harmful bacteria was dislodged from the man’s mouth during a dentist appointment, before traveling to his heart. They also say the life-threatening infection is what caused the bulging blood vessel in his hand.

<i>Image via New England Journal of Medicine</i>
Image via New England Journal of Medicine

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The man grew concerned when an inflamed patch of skin first appeared on his palm. Within two weeks, it transformed into a pulsating, blue lump.

On Thursday, experts at the University of British Columbia published the case in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Medical help was sought after suffering a constant pain in his stomach. Doctors at a local hospital quizzed the patient, discovering he had suffered fevers, a decreased appetite and night sweats for six weeks.

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Dr. Bashaar Alibrahim and Dr. George Wharmby revealed in the journal that he had lost more than 20 lbs. during his illness.

Writing in the journal, they claimed that his infection was “possibly related to poor oral hygiene and a recent dental procedure.”

Antibiotics cleared up the man’s infection within two days — but he underwent open-heart surgery to repair his aneurysm and replace his aortic valve.

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