SOURCE: West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

May 30, 2012 11:00 ET

Two Cases of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Treated in Los Angeles at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

WEST HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - May 30, 2012) - Necrotizing fasciitis -- commonly referred to as "flesh-eating disease" -- has emerged as a national public health concern in the wake of high-profile cases in Georgia and South Carolina involving two young women. In Los Angeles, CA doctors and surgeons at the Grossman Burn Center (GBC) at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center recently treated two patients suffering from the potentially fatal bacteria. Both patients, Mr. Lionel Coates and Ms. Julie Hanna, have been released and are expected to make a full recovery.

Mr. Coates was diagnosed at Cedar Sinai Hospital where he would spend three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. After doctors at Cedars removed skin from 35% of his body, they contacted the CBC. GBC Medical Director Dr. Peter Grossman, known internationally as an expert in skin and tissue restoration, oversaw Mr. Coates' care.

Dr. Grossman commented, "We were incredibly diligent with his care. We focused primarily on using the patient's own skin, but when there was no more skin available, we focused on multiple different alternatives for wound closure. During that time, the nature and severity of his underlying pathology led to sepsis and he teetered on the brink of death. Thanks to excellent nursing care, physician critical care management, persistent surgical wound care and, most of all, the strong will of the patient, he was able to recover."

Ms. Hanna, the second patient treated at GBC, contracted the bacterial infection after sustaining injuries to her knee, leg and right foot during a karate session. She spent six days in West Hills Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, 32 more days in the burn unit and, after three surgeries, she was sufficiently recovered to be discharged.

Dr. Grossman stated, "I am grateful to Mr. Coates and to Ms. Hanna for their willingness to share their stories. As awareness of necrotizing fasciitis grows throughout the country, it is important that people become informed about this dangerous condition. I believe that the ordeals endured by these two patients will not only educate, but inspire the public."

Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection caused by bacteria, often referred to as "flesh-eating bacteria." It can destroy skin, fat and the tissue covering the muscles in a very short period of time. It is a very rare but serious infection; approximately one out of four people who contract it die. Many people who get the infection are in good health.

High-resolution photographs from various stages of treatment and interviews with Dr. Peter Grossman and the patients are available upon request. Contact Cathy Butter at (818) 676-4736 or

About Grossman Burn Centers:
Founded in 1969 by Dr. A. Richard Grossman, the Grossman Burn Center is the largest plastic surgery-based burn practice in the western United States. The Grossman Burn Center is renowned for its expertise in providing acute and reconstructive burn care, rehabilitation, and post-treatment emotional and psychological support. For more information:

About West Hills Hospital & Medical Center:
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is a full-service acute care facility located in West Hills, CA, in the Western San Fernando Valley. The 225-bed facility recently completed an $80-million expansion that includes a new Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Outpatient Services Unit, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, and The Grossman Burn Center. For more information:

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