A Colorado man has died after contracting a lethal infection from a body art procedure.
The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed that the tattoos were done by an unlicensed body artist, who ran his illegal business from his home
The victim, whose name was not released, died from sepsis, a life-threatening response to an infection. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and in some cases, death, according to WeldHealth.org.
“Anyone can get sepsis as a bad outcome from an infection,” Dr. Mark E. Wallace, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department, told 9 News.
Body art businesses are required by law to meet certain construction and sanitation standards in Weld County. Businesses must be licensed by the health department, and artists can only work in those licensed establishments.
“Who knows why they do that or why you would choose to do that?” said Nando Mondragon, president of the Certified Customs tattoo shop in Denver. “I mean, you wouldn't go to a dentist office that's in somebody's house just to save a few bucks."
“It's kind of a good example of what could happen because there are no regulations and nobody that's watching, no insurance, nobody checking the sterilizations stuff."
“It's sad to hear that. Kind of the way it works. You gotta do it the right way.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 258,000 Americans die each year from sepsis. Symptoms can include: shivering, fever, extreme pain or general discomfort, pale or discolored skin, feeling sleepy and shortness of breath.
Sepsis is treatable with antibiotics. It is usually treated at the hospital, where blood oxygen levels and blood pressures are monitored.