In the United States, a 41-year-old woman had to have all four of her limbs amputated, when a kidney stone she was suffering from turned into septicemia. A difficult decision, but one that saved his life.
Seeing her smile in the American media, it’s hard to believe that Luncinda Mullins’ life turned into a medical nightmare in just a few days. This 41-year-old mother from Kentucky had to have her four limbs urgently amputated to save her from sepsis.
A little calculation that turns into drama
The story begins last December. Lucinda Mullins, known as Cindy, suffers from kidney stones. Already treated for one of them, she found herself one morning on the floor of her bathroom, with a fever, and her back was causing severe pain. Her husband then took her to the hospital. The doctors’ response was serious: his kidney stones had become infected and were causing sepsis, which can lead to organ failure and death. A first treatment consists of saving his organs. But the tissue in his limbs gradually dies in the process. On December 18, the verdict came: Cindy must have her legs amputated (below the knees), then her arms (up to the elbows). A decision which does not discourage her and which she says she took with courage.
“If that was the sacrifice I had to make to be alive, I was OK with that.”she told the Washington Post.
Lucinda Mullins of Kentucky developed sepsis from an infected kidney stone. The tissues in her legs and forearms died during treatment. https://t.co/WqVrClwss7
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 6, 2024
Amputation as a last chance treatment
Isn’t that radical? Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, explains to us why amputation is sometimes the only solution.
“This patient had a renal colic superinfected, with septic shock, and bacteria that discharge into the body. However, to treat this, we use vasopressor amines, which constrict the blood vessels to maintain the blood pressure at the level of vital organs. The problem is that they also close the peripheral vessels (those of the hands, limbs). The risk is indeed the necrosis limb, a complication which can lead to amputation.”
A sequence of events that led Cindy to the operation. “The message that we can take away from this is that in the event of renal colic, with fever, it is necessary to quickly check that there is nourinary infection associated”
For Cindy, however, life does not end with this operation. Today, the positive young woman, fully supported by her entire family, is preparing for a long period of rehabilitation to relearn everyday actions without the use of her limbs. His story has also touched many people and a collection on the internet should allow him to decorate his house and have prostheses made. If all goes well, she could well consider them within 4 months.