Cracked screen protector almost causes Malaysia man to amputate thumb

Most of us are guilty of using cracked phones and screen protectors until they are absolutely falling apart. But be warned — even if you don't get cut, you could still get a nasty infection.

A man in Malaysia had to be hospitalised and almost lost his thumb after playing games on his smartphone despite a cracked screen protector, according to newspaper Harian Metro.

Azuan Iqbal Abdullah Sani, 23, said that he had been using the cracked screen protector for four months.

His first inkling that something was wrong was when he noticed that his right thumb was swollen and had some black spots about three weeks ago.

Azuan visited a doctor who diagnosed him with a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

However, his thumb continued to swell and the pain only worsened even though there was no visible wound.

After visiting a private hospital, Azuan was told that he had to undergo surgery to save his thumb from being amputated.

Azuan underwent surgery to remove the glass shards embedded in his thumb as well as the infected flesh, reported another newspaper Sin Chew Daily.

"It was shocking to know that my finger would have to be amputated if I had delayed treatment," Azuan told Harian Metro in Malay.

"It is my fault that this happened since it is easy to replace the screen protector. I hope that others will immediately replace their cracked screen protectors so that they don't become like me," Azuan said.

He has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering.

Let Azuan's story be a cautionary tale to all of us to fix our cracked screens and replace our cracked screen protectors.

Smartphones are already causing health issues like "skull horns" and "text neck". Let's not add "deadly bacterial infection" to the list.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com