Teen ate bad takeout, had both legs and all fingers amputated – Insider

  • A Massachusetts college student was hospitalized after eating bad Chinese takeout.
  • The 19-year-old experienced vomiting, fever, and shortness of breath before his admission.
  • He eventually needed both legs and ten fingers amputated due to a rare complication of sepsis.

A 19-year-old who was admitted to the hospital with what initially looked like food poisoning eventually needed both legs and all of his fingers amputated, according to a report by The New England Journal of Medicine.

The patient, a Massachusetts college student, had eaten leftover rice, chicken, and lo mein the day before his admission. Shortly after eating, he and a friend who had the same meal both vomited.

While his friend recovered after throwing up once, the patient continued to experience vomiting and stomach pain, as well as progressively worsening muscle pain, weakness, and chills. His symptoms escalated to include chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, neck stiffness, blurry vision, and skin discoloration.

The student was admitted to the hospital about 20 hours after his initial bout of vomiting. At that point, he had a fever of over 105 F and an unusually high heart rate, Newsweek reported. His skin discoloration quickly transformed into a splotchy, purplish rash that covered almost his entire body.

Eventually, the tissue in his extremities began to die, and doctors had to amputate both legs below the knee as well as parts of all 10 fingers, according to the case study. They also placed a temporary


to treat the patient’s heart dysfunction.

The patient had a rare complication of septic shock

Doctors officially diagnosed this patient with meningococcal purpura fulminan disease, a rare complication of septic shock, in the report published March 2021.

Many of the patient’s symptoms — fever, respiratory collapse, shock, and organ failure — were consistent with sepsis, where the body’s response to an infection causes widespread inflammation and possible damage. 

Purpura fulminans is an especially rare feature that can occur with septic shock, causing distinctive blood spots or lesions on the skin.

The patient’s stiff neck was a hallmark of meningitis, or swelling of the brain caused by infection. His doctors later learned that the teen had not received the recommended booster after getting his first dose of the meningococcal vaccine.

The hospitalized student was overall healthy before his admission, his family told doctors. He had a history of anxiety and


, as well as some drug use: drinking a couple times a week, dabbling with cough syrup and antihistamines, and smoking marijuana daily and two packs of cigarettes weekly. He worked part-time at a restaurant and had no history of drug allergies.

Experts have warned that rice may contain spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that can survive being cooked and thrives at room temperature. If left out too long, the bacteria will multiply and release toxins that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.