It is said that love hurts. But in the case of a 43-year-old man, it literally did. A 'love bite' from his partner on his penis proved fatal for him and could have had life-threatening consequences had he not sought medical care.
A part of the man's penis began to rot away after a love bite from his partner caused the spot of the bite to fester. The man who is said to have made a complete recovery and the details of his ordeal was published in a recent report.
Love hurts, sometimes literally!
The unnamed man visited the emergency room, complaining about a painful wound on the tip of his penis. He revealed to the doctors that his partner had given him a 'love bite' on his penis five days prior. Upon examination, the doctors discovered that the man had a 3-centimetre necrotic (localised) wound on the glans of his penis, and the tissue spanning the area was rotting away.
"Since the initial trauma, the patient noted the wound to be worsening in pain and became darker," said the researchers in the report. While the man complained of severe pain, the doctors found that he exhibited no bodily signs of an infection such as a fever. Crassly stated, only his penis was sick.
Timely medical intervention saves his organ
According to the report, the man was given antibiotics intravenously and was admitted to the hospital in order to monitor his condition. Doctors specialising in urology and infections monitored his progress. The man was under the sustained administration of antibiotics and was prescribed oral antibiotics upon discharge.
Doctors were successful in treating the wound without any surgical intervention, and a follow-up one month post his discharge showed that the man had made a complete recovery. However, a minimal glans deformity resulting from the wound will serve as a reminder to the couple to take things 'easy' in the future.
Human bites can have devastating consequences
The risks associated with human bites are as high as a bite from an animal. Teeming with bacteria, the human mouth in many ways can serve as a petri dish of infections. "Even unassuming human bite wounds are at risk for developing significant infections," the researchers state in the report.
They also drew attention to the fact that most patients who have injuries such as the aforementioned man, do not seek medical assistance. When not treated in a timely manner, such injuries can exacerbate— which may lead to life-threatening outcomes such as Fournier's gangrene in some cases—requiring surgical intervention to save the patient's life.
In the report, the researchers discuss two other hypothetical scenarios resulting from bites on the penis. Through them, they discuss the nature of possible infections arising from a bite to the penis, and the best-suited course of treatment to avert fatal outcomes.
Not the first case of a fatal human bite
As discussed in the report, human bites can cause life-threatening injuries. However, the 43-year-old man's incident is not the first reported case of a lethal human bite.
In 2012, researchers published a report about a West African man dying as a result of being bitten during a fight. The 30-year-old Fulani herdsmen fell into a coma after the wound on his right forearm had become gangrenous due to mismanaged treatment at the hands of unqualified healers. Despite an amputation below the elbow by doctors, the man succumbed to the infection.
Another report in 2015, discussed the death of a 43-year-old woman from the UK due to a 'love bite' from her partner. With a past history of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, the 5 cm wide bite on her left breast caused her demise due to a cardiopulmonary arrest while under treatment.