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Necrotising Fasciitis
Claiming Compensation for the Impact of Delayed Necrotising Fasciitis Surgery

Claiming Compensation for the Impact of Delayed Necrotising Fasciitis Surgery

Initiating an emergency surgical response to a necrotising fasciitis infection is crucial to the patient's long-term outcome. The sooner debridement surgery is commenced, the better the patient's recovery is likely to be.

If surgery for necrotising fasciitis is delayed due to a failure to diagnose symptoms or poor management of the patient's needs, the relevant medical professionals maybe regarded as having acted negligently. If the patient suffers long-term disability and debilitating symptoms as a result, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation for the effects of the delay.

Why is surgery for necrotising fasciitis a medical emergency?

Necrotising fasciitis is a soft-tissue infection which causes the destruction of all tissue it infects. Clearly, it is important that such an infection should be treated and eradicated as quickly as possible. In addition, necrotising fasciitis moves through the body very quickly so diagnosis and treatment become a medical emergency. The longer treatment is delayed, the more destructive the infection is likely to be to the patient's body.

How does someone contract necrotising fasciitis?

Necrotising fasciitis is often the result of bacteria entering a person's body through a cut to the skin, such as a surgical incision. A wide range of different pathogens can cause necrotising fasciitis, which may not be problematic if they remain outside the body or on the person's skin. Once they reach the deep, soft tissue, however, these bacteria can interact with the environment in the body and initiate a destructive process whereby the patient's tissue is quickly destroyed.

Necrotising fasciitis can also develop following a perforated or ruptured bowel where the contents of the gut may leak into the abdominal cavity and cause infection.

The impact of necrotising fasciitis

The physical impact of necrotising fasciitis results from a two-pronged assault on the body.

The infection itself, through the process of destroying the body's deep, soft tissue, gradually diminishes the body's ability to function. The functioning of the body's fundamental support systems, such as the circulatory system and respiratory system may start to struggle and the patient will eventually suffer multiple organ failure. Without sustained life support in an intensive care unit and the eradication of the infection, it is likely that the patient will die. Necrotising fasciitis comes with a notoriously high mortality rate.

The only way to halt the spread of a necrotising fasciitis infection effectively is to remove all infected tissue from the body and the only way to do this is through surgical debridement. The further the infection has spread, the more tissue will need to be removed and this process can prove to be disabling in itself.

Necrotising fasciitis mostly affects either the abdomen or the limbs, crucial aspects of a functioning body. Debridement in the abdominal area can compromise the patient's digestive system. Debridement in the limbs can mean the loss of all or part of a limb or hand or foot.

The process of treatment, although vital to the survival of the patient, necessitates numerous surgical procedures including those which help the patient to restore the damage which has been done to the patient through the double impact of infection and debridement.

Apart from the physical and practical problems which are likely to ensue from both the infection and the treatment, the psychological impact can take a heavy toll on the patient and their loved ones.

Medical negligence

If surgery for necrotising fasciitis is delayed through medical failures, such as missed symptoms, inaccurate diagnosis, delayed referral or delayed treatment, the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as having provided substandard care of the patient.

If the patient's quality of life is significantly impacted by their pain, suffering and possible loss of ability to work, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a specialist

Contact Glynns Solicitors if you or a loved one are struggling with the impact of necrotising fasciitis due to poor medical care. We are specialists in medical negligence compensation and will be very happy to help you.

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

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