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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotizing Fasciitis After C Section

Compensation for Abdominal Necrotising Fasciitis

The horrific, life-threatening infection that is necrotising fasciitis tends to develop either in the abdominal region or the limbs. Although it can occur anywhere in the soft tissue of the body, these areas are more susceptible.

The abdomen is the central part of the body which houses the stomach, liver, bowel and associated organs. The lower abdomen, or pelvic region, also contains the bladder and, in a woman, the womb.

Necrotising fasciitis of the abdomen may develop for a variety of reasons. It may be the result of an accidental wound to the skin, the unanticipated result of surgery or a development of a bowel perforation.

Possible causes of abdominal necrotising fasciitis

For a patient to develop necrotising fasciitis, their deep, soft tissue needs to become infected with one of the many bacteria which can cause this appalling and life-threatening illness.

Surgery and necrotising fasciitis

A surgical procedure, whether open or keyhole, generally requires a cut or incision to the patient's skin. Such an action can allow bacteria to enter the patient's body and cause infection.

As the home of numerous organs fundamental to human survival, the abdomen is a frequent focus of surgery such as the following:

  • A caesarean section
  • A hysterectomy
  • A cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • An appendectomy (removal of the appendix)
  • Surgery to the bowel for cancer, crohn's disease or diverticulitis
  • A kidney transplant

Patients undergoing surgery should be risk-assessed prior to surgery and, where it is thought to be necessary, prophylactic antibiotics should be administered prior to surgery to try to prevent infection.

Where this does not take place, and the patient subsequently suffers necrotising fasciitis, the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as having been negligent.

Bowel perforation and necrotising fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis can also develop subsequent to an internal condition such as a bowel perforation due to appendicitis, diverticulitis, cancer or crohn's disease.

A perforation allows bacterial matter to leak from inside the bowel into the abdominal cavity, risking peritonitis, sepsis and necrotising fasciitis.

If the perforation occurs because medical professionals failed to diagnose the original problem, such as appendicitis, and the patient is left with the long-term effects of necrotising fasciitis, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Furthermore, it is crucial that the infection is diagnosed once it has started to take hold. The patient is likely to be in considerable pain. With flu-like symptoms and may be feeling nauseous or vomiting.

A prompt response is vital and a delay in investigating symptoms may be regarded as substandard care.

Necrotising fasciitis of the abdominal wall

If a patient is exhibiting symptoms which might indicate a necrotising soft-tissue infection, it is imperative that such a diagnosis is ruled out.

If a definite diagnosis is not possible from the clinical signs, it may be necessary for exploratory surgery to be carried out. This will ascertain whether or not there is any sign of necrosis, or tissue death caused by the bacteria of necrotising fasciitis.

If such infection and tissue damage is found, the patient will need to have all infected tissue removed through a surgical procedure called debridement.

It is vital that all infected tissue is removed. If this does not occur, the infection will continue to spread. The further it spreads, the more debridement will be necessary and the greater risk there is of amputation, organ failure and death.

The patient will also require intravenous antibiotics as promptly as possible.

A delay in initiating treatment can have catastrophic long-term effects, leaving the patient struggling with disability.

Medical negligence

If a patient develops necrotising fasciitis due to substandard care around surgery or because their necrotising fasciitis symptoms were not diagnosed or investigated with urgency, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors if you or a loved one are struggling with the horrific impact of this terrible illness. One of our specialist medical negligence solicitors will be happy to talk to you and advise you as to the best way forward.

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