Catrina, a Danish tourist, 31, was on the verge of losing his right leg after suffering a severe shark
bite. For the wound complications, five days after the accident could have amputated his limb being
affected by a necrosis (tissue death).
But through 16 surgeries (which claimed about 30 hours total), a medical team at Hospital
Metropolitano de Quito was saved. Today, that success, this is considered a precedent for
Ecuadorian medicine, especially for plastic.
According to plastic surgeon José Ruiz Echeverria, who led the multidisciplinary team, it took 14
surgeries to remove all tissue deterioration and entered two other interventions for the
reconstruction of the leg and foot.
This process was conducted between November 25 and December 21. But the doctors preferred to
keep the case in reserve to confirm the success of medical treatment.
The accident occurred on November 24, between 19:00 and 20:00. The tourist jumped into the
water, while on a cruise to an hour and a half from Santa Cruz, Galapagos.
And in the darkness she felt a tremendous jolt. Thought she would die, but was quickly rescued.
Two hours later she received the first attention at a clinic, especially with sutures to try to heal the
wounds and control bleeding. She was then flown to Quito to be admitted to the Hospital
Metropolitano, at 19:00 the next day.
In this house it was found that care had injuries on her right leg from the knee to the foot. Some
pictures taken of the patient showing the tear he suffered during the bite.
The specialist explains that the bite was contaminated with the entire affected area with vibrio
bacteria and other, causing an acute infection. "That made over the days, the patient loses the
skin, muscles, tendons and facies (tissue covering the muscles, tendons and arteries). The bones
were not affected. " A pathological diagnosis showed that the fifth day, Catrina suffered necrosis of
the superficial and deep tissues.
Then, in each operation was removed and applied to the damaged flaps (transfer of healthy, live
tissue from one area of the body to another). In this case tissue was not removed from other areas,
but "we pulled thigh muscle of the same leg to reconstruct the missing tissue."
The treatment was complete with a plastic surgeon, an infectious disease, anesthetics, nurses and
a psychiatrist for emotional recovery of the patient.
Such was the evolution that on 21 December, the patient and was able to stand and that same day
he traveled to his native Denmark. Continues beyond rehabilitation, this will take between six
months and a year-on medical surveillance of an insurance company.
In addition, the report sent by e-mail on Monday 5, Catrina and reused without any shoes and leg
bandage. But antibiotic medication will be kept for 200 days.
The medical notes that the success is due to the experience of its members, apart from the
microsurgical devices, screens and special bandages used during treatment.
Also that despite the complicated process, the cost of treatment was approximately USD 50 000,
"against the USD 700 000 would cost in Denmark," says Ruiz.
A report to support this medical achievement. The doctor says the world literature records more
than five previous cases of reconstruction and salvation of any party affected by a shark bite.
In Ecuador the first time. "This shows that we are able to treat any serious complication."
Precautions to prevent incidents
When you snorkel, the tourist should stay close to the shallow rocky areas, this is the first
recommendation. This will prevent any mishap with some marine species.
If you're new to snorkeling experience, when you practice not depart from the coast and always
keep the lifejacket to keep it afloat forever.
On Santa Fe and La Plata has seen plenty of bull sharks, a species that feeds mainly on seals. In
times of reproduction of these snorkel is not recommended in these areas, as they tend to be
frequented by sharks in search of food.
For diving, the group recommended that when this underwater stay close from each other and in
the same area. In addition, to wear gloves to avoid injury to grab the rocks.
These tourist activities in the Galapagos, for example, will be led by naturalist guides licensed by
the Directorate of PNG. They know what sites they visit and take security measures.
In Galapagos, there are 44 approved sites for recreational activities like snorkeling, kayaking and 'panga ride'. Are Bahia Blanca, Bahia Darwin