3-year-old’s scraped knee leads to staph infection, then double amputation

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LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (KPNX/NBC News)  – When a Lake Havasu family was visiting San Diego in October, they had no idea the fall that their 3-year-old son took on his bike would become the medical nightmare they are now living.

Beauden Baumkirchner was riding his bicycle around his family’s campsite outside of San Diego, when he fell off, scraping his knee.

“He’s done that many, many times as any 3-year-old boy will do.” Brian Baumkirchner said, remembering that day.

The wound was cleaned and a bandage was placed over the scrape, yet less than 48 hours later, the child was fighting for his life.

It started with Beauden feeling sleepy early in the evening. The next day, the normally active little boy, was quiet and not feeling well. By the following morning, he was running a fever and his knee was swollen.

Baumkirchner was admitted into Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and quickly was seen by several doctors and nurses.

“The ICU doctor said that his labs, when he came in, were of concern, for sure. But the lab work at 1 p.m., just three hours later, his whole body was shutting down,” Brian Baumkirchner said. “They thought they were going to lose him, for sure, that night.”

A Staph infection* had quickly spread its way through the 3-year-old’s body.

“The Staph infection — they knew it was some kind of bacterial infection, but weren’t sure what it was — but you can see it spreading in his legs, down to all of his extremities,” explained Brian Baumkirchner.  “They thought they were going to lose him for sure that first day.”

Unfortunately, the infection caused a loss of blood flow in Beauden’s limbs. Although every attempt was made by the RCH doctors’ and staff to get Beauden’s blood circulating again, it was futile and doctors ended up having to amputate both Beauden’s legs, first below the knees, but then above the knees.

*According to the Mayo Clinic:

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. Most of the time, these bacteria cause no problems or result in relatively minor skin infections.

But staph infections can turn deadly if the bacteria invade deeper into your body, entering your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart. A growing number of otherwise healthy people are developing life-threatening staph infections.

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