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NECROTIZING

FASCIITIS

( FLESH -EATING BACTERIA)


WHAT IS IT?

Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), commonly known as flesh-eating disease, is an infection that


results in the death of the body's soft tissue. It is a severe disease of sudden onset that spreads
rapidly

Symptoms include red or purple skin in the affected area, severe pain, fever, and vomiting

The most commonly affected areas are the limbs and perineum.

Necrotizing fasciitis has been described at least since the time of Hippocrates
CAUSE
Commonly called a "flesh-eating infection" by the media, this rare disease can be caused by more than
one type of bacteria. These include:

group A Streptococcus (group A strep),


Klebsiella
Clostridium
Escherichia coli
Staphylococcus aureus
Aeromonas hydrophila
Vibrio vulnificus
Group A strep is considered the most common cause of necrotizing fasciitis.
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

Necrotizing fasciitis occurs when such bacteria infect


the superficial fascia, a layer of connective tissue
below the skin.

"Flesh-eating bacteria" in essence does not eat the


tissue but destroys it by realeasing powerful toxins.
RISK FACTORS
Over 70% of cases were recorded in people with at least one of the following clinical
situations: immunosuppression, diabetes, alcoholism/drug abuse/smoking, malignancies, and
chronic systemic diseases. For reasons that are unclear, it occasionally occurs in people with an
apparently normal general condition.
Necrotizing Fasciitis Is Rarely Spread from Person to Person
The infection begins locally at a site of trauma, which may be severe (such as the result
of surgery), minor, even non-apparent , or at the site of an insect bite
SYMPTOMS OF NECROTIZING FASCIITIS
The symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis usually occur within the first 24
hours of infection. They often include a combination of the following:
Increasing pain in the general area of a minor cut, abrasion, or
other skin lesion.
Pain that is worse than would be expected from the
appearance of the cut or abrasion.
Redness and warmth around the wound, though symptoms can
begin at other areas of the body.
Flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea,
fever, dizziness, weakness .
Intense thirst due to dehydration.
SYMPTOMS WITHIN 3-4 DAYS

Swelling, possibly accompanied by a purplish rash.


Large, violet-colored marks that transform into blisters filled
with dark, foul-smelling fluid.
Discoloration, peeling, and flakiness as tissue death (gangrene)
occurs.
CRITICAL SYMPTOMS

Severe drop in blood pressure


Toxic shock
Unconsciousness
DIAGNOSIS
Necrotizing fasciitis progresses very rapidly, making early
diagnosis crucial.

Diagnosis is often based on advanced symptoms, such as the


presence of gas bubbles under the skin. Laboratory analysis of
fluid and tissue samples is done to identify the particular bacteria
that are causing the infection. Treatment, however, begins
before the bacteria are identified.
TREATMENT
Patients infected with flesh-eating bacteria will undergo several types of
treatment. The extent of treatment depends on the stage of the disease when
treatment is started. The treatment includes:
Intravenous antibiotic therapy.
Surgery to remove damaged or dead tissue in order to stop the spread of
infection.
Medications to raise blood pressure.
Amputations of affected limbs, in some cases.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be recommended to preserve healthy tissue.
Cardiac monitoring and breathing aids.
Blood transfusions.
Intravenous immunoglobulin. This supports the body's ability to fight infection.
NOT TO WORRY

If you're healthy, have a strong immune system, and practice


good hygiene and proper wound care, your chances of
getting necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh-eating" bacteria) are
extremely low.