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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotizing Fasciitis After C Section

Claiming Compensation for Necrotising Fasciitis and Sepsis

The devastating combination of necrotising fasciitis and sepsis is not uncommon. The risk of dying from this horrific duo of conditions is very high unless diagnosis and treatment are achieved as a matter of emergency.

The effects of necrotising fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a virulent and deadly infection which can be caused by a variety of pathogens working either in isolation or jointly. Once the relevant bacteria has reached the patient's soft tissue, it can cause destruction of all infected tissue and spread through the body rapidly, threatening the patient's life.

The impact of necrotising, even when the patient survives, can be utterly catastrophic. The infection itself can cause significant tissue death. The necessary treatment, which is surgical removal of all infected tissue, also causes considerable scarring, deformity and possible disability.

Survivors of necrotising fasciitis are likely to suffer the effects well into the long-term. They will probably need plastic surgery to address the impact of their illness and its treatment. If their illness has damaged the bowel, they may require a colostomy. It is even possible that their illness has required the amputation of extremities or limbs before the infection has been halted.

Although the patient may survive this shocking illness, the on-going impact can well mean that their life is fundamentally changed. A permanent disability due to necrotising fasciitis can affect an individual psychologically as well as limiting their capacity to work and function independently.

The additional complication of sepsis

A necrotising fasciitis infection can trigger a systemic inflammatory response as the body struggles to cope and to survive. This can cause the patient's organs to begin to struggle as the blood pressure falls and they become starved of oxygen. This life-threatening organ dysfunction in response to infection is termed sepsis and is one of the major causes of death in the UK.

It is possible to survive sepsis and many people do. Some can carry on their life as fully as before whereas many suffer post-sepsis syndrome, continuing to suffer symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness and pain.

Surviving necrotising fasciitis and sepsis

The key to surviving this life-threatening combination is early diagnosis and treatment.

The sooner a patient is diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, the sooner their treatment can begin. The underlying bacterial cause of the illness can be identified, debridement can be commenced and the chance of developing sepsis may be reduced.

A delay in treatment will probably mean that the patient will require a greater degree of life-support in hospital, will undergo a greater number of surgical procedures, suffer a worse long-term outcome and face an increased chance of death.

Early diagnosis and treatment

Recognising or at least considering the possibility of a necrotising fasciitis infection in a patient is fundamental to responding to this appalling infection.

Although necrotising fasciitis is fairly rare, the symptoms of intense pain, redness, swelling and tenderness in the region of a cut or wound, should raise the question of necrotising fasciitis. Where the patient is exhibiting the symptoms of infection such as a raised temperature, it may be considered a medical emergency. A delay may prove fatal.

Patients recovering from surgery in hospital are also susceptible to this infection as they are likely to have a cut to the skin which may allow the relevant bacteria to access the deep soft tissue. A failure to respond to possible necrotising fasciitis symptoms may leave the patient extremely vulnerable.

Medical negligence

If medical professionals fail to diagnose a patient's symptoms of necrotising fasciitis and initiate emergency treatment, the patient may suffer a very poor long-term outcome.

Where this is the case, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the long-term effects of necrotising fasciitis and sepsis, contact Glynns to talk to one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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