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Symptoms of Necrotising Fasciitis

Necrotising Fasciitis is a bacterial infection that rapidly attacks the body's tissue and underlying fascia. It is therefore vital medical professionals recognise the signs and symptoms as early as possible. Otherwise this aggressive flesh-eating disease will cause widespread damage, leading to serious complications for the individual concerned.

What are the symptoms of Necrotising Fasciitis?

Necrotising Fasciitis occurs when bacteria enter the body and multiply, releasing a poisonous toxin as they do so. This will lead to a variety of symptoms typically associated with Necrotising Fasciitis, including:-

  • Extreme pain that is disproportionate to the wound (although sometimes there may not be a wound);
  • Skin that is red, swollen and hot to touch;
  • Fever;
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea.

As the bacteria continue to reproduce, the toxin will quickly attack the tissue and fascia, causing it to become necrotic in other words, causing it to die. This will lead to visible signs of infection such as:-

  • Blisters on the skin;
  • Skin discoloration;
  • Fluid oozing from the site of infection;
  • Black scabs.

What happens if Necrotising Fasciitis is not diagnosed early?

If treatment is not provided the bacteria will rapidly multiply, causing the site of infection to spread. The area of necrosis will consequently grow in size, resulting in widespread tissue damage and serious health complications such as sepsis (infection of the blood), organ failure and potentially even death.

To prevent the devastating consequences commonly associated with Necrotising Fasciitis, it is of utmost importance that medical professionals recognise the initial symptoms of the disease and begin a patient on antibiotics as soon as a suspected diagnosis is made. Swabs can then be sent to the laboratory to confirm whether or not this diagnosis is correct. If it is, surgical debridement of the infected area must be performed at the earliest opportunity.

Claiming for a delayed diagnosis of Necrotising Fasciitis

If a patient presents with the typical symptoms of Necrotising Fasciitis but medical professionals fail to make a timely diagnosis, the standard of care will have fallen below an acceptable level. This is because Necrotising Fasciitis is a rare but serious condition that must be treated as a medical emergency; any failure to do so will represent a breach of duty.

The injured patient will consequently be able to pursue a medical negligence claim for the damages incurred. If successful, compensation will be awarded for the pain, suffering, loss of amenity and loss of finances experienced as a result of the negligence.

If you or a loved one has suffered because a case of Necrotising Fasciitis was not diagnosed by doctors, you need to contact a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

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