An Australian expat employee called John* was working in Thailand and on a weekend away in Saraburi.

He slipped on some stairs and suffered a gash on his shin but didn’t think too much of it at the time. He cleaned up the wound with antiseptic and continued his weekend, bathing it normally over the following days.

A couple of days later he realised the cut had become infected and headed to the local hospital.

While in ICU he noticed cats and cockroaches walking through the ward and decided to call his employers’ assistance provider, Dynamiq Assist (DA).

DA immediately took steps to remove John from the hospital, sending a ground ambulance to move him to an international standard hospital in Bangkok.

By that stage, the wound deteriorated and extended to about one third of his lower leg. John was soon diagnosed with a flesh-eating bacteria.

John required skin graft surgery, and given his work trip had come to an end, the DA medical team decided it would be best if John was treated in Australia. The team arranged for a doctor to accompany John back to Perth on business class flights to ensure John was safe and comfortable during his return journey.

John received a number of skin grafts after returning home and he is now on the road to recovery.

He said, “I’m happy to be back on home ground, the skin graft has been done already, so I’m on the road to recovery. Thank you all for everything. You helped to put my mind at ease and made the whole experience much easier.”

Lessons learned

When this traveller was self-treating initially, it would have been better to clean the wound with bottled water (particularly as opposed to the bath water used here.

Wounds can deteriorate quickly in tropical climates, particularly if contaminated.

Even if a wound seems non-urgent at the time, it’s best to be over-cautious in tropical climates and see a doctor and/or check in with Dynamiq Assist.

The patient made the correct call to notify us with his concerns given cats walking past his ICU hospital beds.

*John is not the patient’s real name. We’re protecting his privacy.

Find out more abut our assistance and response services. 

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