Life-threatening infection: 45-year-old woman almost died after being scratched by a cat

Life-threatening infection: 45-year-old woman almost died after being scratched by a cat

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Woman loses a finger after scratching a cat and is in mortal danger

In the UK, a woman lost a finger after getting a dangerous infection from a cat's scratch. The 45-year-old was even lucky in misfortune. The doctors informed the patient that she could have lost her entire hand or even died.

Blessing in disguise

According to media reports, a woman from the UK almost died after getting a life-threatening infection from a cat's scratch. The 45-year-old had to have a finger amputated. The attending doctors informed the patient that she was lucky to survive the infection.

A stray cat scratches

A British mother of two from Glasgow almost died because of a toxic shock caused by infection with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and A streptococcus, the UK newspaper Metro reported.

The woman had apparently been infected by the scratch of a stray cat.

Moira Brady has lost a finger from her left hand and said the torture "ruined" her life - but the doctors told her she was lucky to be alive.

Her kidneys were on the brink of failure because the infection had already spread throughout the body.

According to a report in the Scottish newspaper Daily Record, the operating surgeon said that if the patient hadn't looked for help a week after the scratch, the infection would likely have been fatal.

Further operations needed

Ms. Brady spent a month at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary where she underwent two skin grafts on her arm.

According to the information, it will need further operations in the future.

The 45-year-old said she was scratched by a - possibly wild - cat who was fighting with another cat on a trampoline in her garden.

At first she thought nothing of it, but days later her hand swelled and one of her fingers turned blue.

When she got to the hospital, she was asked if she was near animals.

According to the newspaper reports, the patients were infected with MRSA and A streptococci.

Infection can endanger life

Streptococci are bacteria that usually get into the body through droplets or touches by an infected person.

Depending on the pathogen, they trigger inflammation of the tonsils and palate, for example, but can even ignite the heart and lungs. Then a streptococcal infection can sometimes endanger life.

Contagion also about animals

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are bacteria that are found on the skin and mucous membranes of many healthy people.

They can be transmitted from person to person, through contaminated objects or even through animals.

"The risk of infection for healthy people is low, even if the skin or mucous membranes are already populated with MRSA," explains the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on its "" portal.

"MRSA infection can be difficult, especially in immune-compromised older patients and infants," said the experts.

Death reports

With Moira Brady, the infections resulted in her losing a finger. "The doctors first had to take half of my finger off and then the rest," said the 45-year-old.

"They said I could have died or lost my whole hand."

According to the patient, the attending surgeon said that "she was very lucky." But she herself said the incident "ruined her life."

She also pointed out that many people did not believe that all of this happened because of a cat's scratch.

However, it is not that rare that such injuries trigger the most serious illnesses - sometimes resulting in death.

It was reported only a few months ago about a woman who had to spend months in a wheelchair after petting a cat because she was infected with the Campylobacter bacterium.

There were also reports of deaths, such as that of a British citizen who had been infected by rabies while on vacation in Morocco and who did not survive the infection.

And in Japan, too, a woman died from a cat bite infection. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Daily Record: Glasgow mum loses a finger and almost DIES after being being scratched by a cat, (accessed: 22.07.2019), Daily Record
  • Metro: Mum almost dies after being scratched by stray cat, (accessed: July 22, 2019), Metro
  • Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA): MRSA, (accessed: 22.07.2019),

Video: Ocular Toxoplasmosis: M. Furtado (June 2022).