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Necrotising Fasciitis Bacteria

Necrotising Fasciitis Bacteria

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare type of bacterial infection. It is often referred to as the 'flesh-eating disease', as the toxins released by the bacteria attack the tissue, causing it to die.

What bacteria cause necrotising fasciitis?

Necrotising fasciitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria, although the infection usually stems from the Group A Streptococcus bacteria. Other types of bacteria that can potentially cause the disease include Klebsiella, Clostridium, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Aeromonas hydrophila.

For the condition to develop, these bacteria must actually enter the body. In almost all cases of necrotising fasciitis, the bacteria are able to do this because the patient has sustained some form of trauma. However, sometimes the affected individual will not even be aware of this, as the bacteria able to enter the body through something as small as a paper cut. Other times it will be more obvious, such as a surgical incision.

Necrotising fasciitis bacteria the flesh-eating disease

Once inside the body, the bacteria will start to reproduce. But as they multiply, they release a chemical that is highly toxic to the underlying tissue. This damages the tissue, causing it to become necrotic, meaning it dies.

When the tissue becomes necrotic it cannot be healed and it must be surgically removed an operation known as debridement. It is vital this operation is performed at the earliest opportunity, as this is the only way to stop the necrotising fasciitis from spreading.

If treatment is not provided, the bacteria will continue to reproduce and the area of infection will quickly get larger. Within a short space of time, the amount of necrotic tissue will have spread, all of which must eventually be debrided. This can leave the patient with a significant deformity, and can lead to further complications such as organ failure and sepsis of the blood.

Compensation for necrotising fasciitis

Nevertheless, the bacteria should not be allowed to spread extensively, as medical professionals should be able to stem the infection before a patient is left with a large area of necrotic tissue.

If there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment, despite the fact a patient has sought medical attention (or perhaps is already in a healthcare environment) there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

This is because any reasonably competent medical practitioner should be able to recognise necrotising fasciitis and provide the necessary treatment in a timely fashion. A failure to do so will amount to a substandard level of medical care.

If this is something that has affected you or your loved one, do not hesitate to contact a solicitor about a necrotising fasciitis medical negligence claim.

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