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Necrotising Fasciitis
Compensation for Delayed Debridement of Necrotising Fasciitis

Compensation for Delayed Debridement of Necrotising Fasciitis

Delayed debridement for necrotising fasciitis can, at best, mean an extended period of stay in hospital and poor long-term outcome. At worst, it may mean the death of the patient. It may also justify a claim for compensation.

What is debridement?

Debridement is the term to describe the surgical process necessary to treat necrotising fasciitis. The nature of this appalling infection means that tissue-decaying bacteria spread through the body until stopped. The only way to stop this process is to remove all tissue which has already been infected, thereby making it impossible for the infection to continue to wreak havoc. The surgical removal of the infected tissue is called debridement.

It is important to clarify that debridement is, of necessity, an invasive surgical process. It removes tissue. Although it is the key part of the process of treating necrotising fasciitis, it can cause severe damage to the patient in the process. It is not unknown for a patient to undergo an amputation of a limb in order to stop the spread of infection.

However, without debridement, the bacteria will continue to spread through the patient's body, ultimately causing the death of the patient.

Timing of debridement in necrotising fasciitis

A delay in starting the process of debridement in a patient with necrotising fasciitis is likely to impact on the outcome for the patient. The patient is likely to require a more extensive area of tissue to be removed. They may also require more debridement procedures in order to achieve this outcome. Their long-term scarring, deformity and disability is likely to be greater. They may be more likely to die from their infection.

For these reasons, necrotising fasciitis in a patient is considered to be a medical emergency.

Medical negligence

If the process of debridement is delayed the medica professionals responsible for the delay, be it delayed diagnosis or delayed commencement of treatment, may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

If the patient subsequently suffers a worse long-term outcome and significant on-going difficulties as a result of the substandard care, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Legal advice

If you or a loved one are struggling with the shocking impact, physical, emotional and financial, of a necrotising infection, you may wish to talk to a someone about the possibility of making a compensation claim.

Glynns Solicitors is a specialist medical negligence legal practice with considerable expertise in necrotising fasciitis claims.

Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced medical negligence solicitors.

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