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The Connection Between
Water and Pierced Ears

Fistula EarHilarious ending to this story, but some pitifully sad parts along the way. It was a chance meeting in a lobby of a Marriott Hotel with a Harvard surgeon that really got my attention. Now that I’ve got yours, let me explain the connection between water and pierced ears (and their more sinister and life-threatening cousins: the dreaded fistula).

Pierced ears… pierced belly buttons… and who knows what else? All of these are types of fistulas. What is a fistula? By one definition it’s a permanent abnormal opening from one compartment of a body to another, or from outside to inside, where there should usually be separation.[/box]

Piercings are one form of fistula we do to ourselves for decoration. Anyone who has ever had them knows they take time to form. Don’t believe me? Go get your ears pierced and then take out the studs after 3 days. We all know those holes will close and heal over without the intervention of that piece of metal in there for several weeks. The body’s natural tendency is to heal and close these abnormal openings if left alone.

Infection is another reason for these abnormal openings not to heal.  How would you like to find that your gauge piercing of your ear turned out to be like the one in the photo?

So here’s where the water and fistula story fits in. I was visiting with a Harvard surgeon in the hotel lobby and we were swapping stories. You think fisherman are the only ones who tell tall tales about their activities? Surgeons love to talk about some of the crazy things that happen with our patients. So “Dr. Harvard” (I’ll call him) is telling me about this crazy case of a patient who had open heart surgery.
<P>The problem was, his chest wound wouldn’t heal or close over. This abnormal opening, or fistula, was caused by infection that couldn’t be controlled long enough to allow closing of the wound. It was MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. That’s a very bad infection to have and is common on skin. Nasty stuff.

After his open heart surgery, this patient went to the cardiologist for treatment of this wound FOR SEVEN YEARS without success. The wound was wet and weeping so much that Dr. Harvard said the man had to wear feminine pads inside his shirt so the moisture wouldn’t soak his shirt when he went out in public. Can you imagine how that would change your life? That’s not to mention the hole in your chest from inside to outside that might just get worse and kill you!

Dr. Harvard also happens to be an advanced wound care doctor who knows about healing these long-term open wounds. He told me that someone had finally told this poor patient about a type of water called “Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water” or EO water for short. It’s been known about since the 1800s, but not commonly used in the U.S. This is a very special type of water that kills literally every microorganism against which it’s been tested, including MRSA. After a few weeks of treatment with water, EO water, this man’s wound heals up completely… after SEVEN YEARS of an open and weeping chest fistula.

So this is where I thought the story became a tall tale. The patient goes to his cardiologist to show him the healed up chest. The cardiologist is amazed and asks his patient, “What did you do to get that to heal up?”

The patient answers,
“You pay me back all the money I’ve paid you over the past seven years and I’ll tell you.” Then he got up and stormed out of the office.

As I’m laughing out loud, I’m thinking to myself that Dr. Harvard just told me a whopper, a really good one.

Until I met the patient. A chance meeting in a whole different state a few weeks later turned out to be this very man. I was able to ask him about what I had heard and he confirmed it all. No tall tale had been told. I still chuckle when I think about how he handled his cardiologist who could have saved this poor man seven years of distress had he just known about this very special type of water.

So aren’t you wondering about this amazing EO water? I did, so I learned. Hang around this blog or join us for a webinar and you’ll learn about how the right water can actually kill any kind of microorganism on contact. It changed how I think about infection control. Stay tuned for details…

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