Man Nearly Loses Digit After Coworker Bites Thumb


A man nearly lost his thumb after a coworker bit him during a drunken brawl and the digit started rotting inside when it became infected.

The patient, surnamed Zhou, suffered a small bleeding cut on his thumb and spent two weeks unsuccessfully self-medicating by treating his increasingly swelling finger with various creams.

Xing Danmou, a doctor with the Puai Hospital in Wuhan, capital of China’s central Hubei Province, said Zhou, 52, was close to requiring an amputation.

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“When the patient arrived, his right thumb was red and swollen like a large carrot,” Xing, who immediately arranged surgery for Zhou, said.

He added: “When we cut into this thumb, we found his tissue festering inside. Even his phalanx was infected.”

Zhou’s thumb had become infected following his coworker’s drunken bite, and after failing to properly disinfect his wound in the two weeks after the incident.

Doctor Xing said he and his team had cleansed the patient’s thumb of dead or decaying tissue three times in the following two weeks.

They managed to saves his right thumb and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Doctor Xing: “In a way, a human bite can often be worse than an animal bite. And it’s often more complex than treating animal bites.”

He added: “There are thousands of bacteria residing in the oral cavity, so if you’re bitten by a person, go see a doctor regardless of the size of the wound.”