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Man Almost Dies Because Of Nail-Biting: How The Bad Habit Nearly Turned Deadly

May 07, 2018 08:16 AM EDT
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Putting on nail polish could be an effective way in curbing the habit of biting your nails. Nail-biting nearly killed a man in Britain when he got sepsis from it.
(Photo : Monica Schipper | Getty Images for alice McCALL)

Death caused by nail-biting sounds a little far-fetched, but it almost became a sobering reality for Luke Hanoman of Southport, Britain.

The father of two nearly perished from an infection that arose from his compulsive habit.

Near Death From Nail Biting

It began when Hanoman, 28, simply bit his nail and caught some skin, The Sacramento Bee reports.

"It was a nervous thing," Hanoman recalls in an interview with Mirror. "And one day I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn't think anything of it."

The following days saw strange flu-like symptoms begin to emerge including feeling ill, swelling in the finger, and an inability to focus.

Still, Hanoman continued with his life and even went to work, not suspecting that he has a dangerous infection. It's only when he overslept until 2 a.m. one day that his mother took him to the hospital. At that point, he had red lines all over his body.

Doctors told him he had sepsis, which he could have died from.

"They told me I was lucky to make it so long," Hanoman says. "I was close to septic shock."

Fortunately, he was rushed to the hospital just in time. He was confined for four days in July until he recovered.

Sepsis: Symptoms And Dangers

Sepsis is when the body's immune system stops attacking the infection and begins turning on itself, leading to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.

Some symptoms include fever, hypothermia, edema, fast respiratory rate, an altered mental status, high blood sugar without diabetes, and a heart rate of over 90 beats per minute. When it progresses to severe sepsis, the body begins showing signs of organ dysfunction such as difficulty breathing, and low urine, abnormal liver tests.

Early detection is a patient's best hope against sepsis, so people should be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help if they suspect they're infected.

"Waiting too long is dangerous," Dr. Steven Simpson, medical director of the Sepsis Alliance, tells Buzzfeed News. "When you have these kind of symptoms people need to seek medical attention."

It's reportedly the most expensive in-patient cost in American hospitals in 2014, and 40 percent of severe sepsis patients don't survive. More than half of survivors end up with post-sepsis syndrome.

"I knew nothing about sepsis before this," Hanoman says about his diagnosis. "I think it's important people know that it can target anyone at any age."

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