Hours after eating improperly stored leftovers from a restaurant, a teenager was admitted to the hospital with multiple organ failure and had both his legs and all his fingers amputated.
The 19-year-old had eaten rice, chicken and lo mein from a restaurant, but it wasn’t long after until he began to feel abdominal pain and his skin turned a shade of purple, according to a report by The New England Journal of Medicine. The Massachusetts college student was admitted to a hospital for “shock, multiple organ failure, and rash,” and his condition quickly declined. After he experienced abnormal breathing, high blood pressure and vomiting, the teen was transported by helicopter to the PICU of the hospital.
Further testing found the teen diagnosed with meningococcal purpura fulminan disease, which caused his stiff neck, nausea, respiratory collapse, shock and organ failure, the report states. Purpura fulminan is a rare complication that comes with septic shock, which the college student experienced. The condition is caused by bacteria and brings symptoms such as sudden fever and vomiting. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention warns it can “lead to death in as little as a few hours.”
Over the course of his hospital stay, his condition worsened and he developed necrosis (the death of tissue and cells), so doctors made the necessary decision to amputate his legs and fingers; he also needed a pacemaker for 13 days to treat his cardiac dysfunction.
Per USA Today, experts have warned against the dangers of improperly storing leftover rice because items such as rice and pasta contain a bacterium called Bacillus cereus which produces a toxin when heated and left out too long. In 2019, a teenager died in his sleep after eating leftover pasta that wasn’t refrigerated overnight.