Reporter hospitalised after manicure
AN AUSTRALIAN television reporter was hospitalised after allegedly getting an infection from a manicure.
A Current Affair reporter Alex Bernhardt said an ordinary manicure at a Sydney nail salon left her with a severe arm infection that forced her to go to hospital.
"This isn't for show. A trip to the local nail salon landed me here, at the Royal North Shore Hospital," she said. "A small cut to my finger sparked a severe infection that spread to my elbow and almost required surgery."
Bernhardt didn't realise how bad the infection was until she had a sit-down interview with Wentworth MP Professor Kerryn Phelps, a medical practitioner who noticed the bruising going up her arm.
She quickly diagnosed it as olecranon bursitis, an infection which leads to inflammation of the tip of the elbow.
"You had quite a severe, what we call a septic bursitis in your elbow," she said.
Prof Phelps said she observed the reporter had had a recent manicure, and a recently-infected cut on her finger, which she pinpointed as the culprit.
"When they are seen they need to be treated as a matter of urgency," she said.
Prof Phelps advised her to go straight to the hospital. She did, and ended up stuck there for longer than she expected.
"I spent the next three days in hospital on intravenous antibiotics. At one stage, doctors warned they may need to operate."
"No-one is suggesting nail salons can match the same sterilisation levels of a major hospital," Bernhardt said.
"But there's certainly a growing demand for higher levels of hygiene in the industry."
Even when the highest standards are met, infections can still occur, according to Prof Phelps.
But she said there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.
"You can ask questions, you can see if there's autoclave, you can ask what the sterilising procedures are, you can ask about the training with the technicians," she said.
"In the end you're really reliant on those procedures being conducted on a routine and regular basis and not having anything slip through the cracks."
The salon worker was furious when the TV station's camera crew showed up, and began filming the reporter in defiance.
"I've worked in nail salons for 10 years, and if your finger had an infection it would be swollen," the salon worker said.
She accused Bernhardt of "making up a storm" and refused to accept that the manicure had anything to do with her infection.
At another point, she demanded the reporter show her a "medical certificate" confirming her infection was due to the manicure.
The owner of the salon has denied that Bernhardt's infection was based on her nail treatment there.