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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotising Fasciitis Bug

Necrotising Fasciitis Bug

Necrotising fasciitis is also known as the flesh-eating bug. It is a very serious bacterial infection that destroys the soft tissue. The rate of destruction is rapid, so it must be diagnosed and treated without delay.

Necrotising fasciitis flesh-eating bug

Necrotising fasciitis happens when certain forms of bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin. This means the infection can begin after any sort of skin trauma, no matter how big or small. This can include surgical incisions, insect bites, paper cuts, grazes, needle puncture wounds and burns.

When the bacteria get inside the body, they do not actually eat the tissue despite the name 'the flesh-eating bug'. What happens is that they begin to reproduce. This process releases a chemical that is toxic to the tissue, fascia (connective tissue) and muscle. The nearby tissue and fascia will therefore be destroyed.

Unless they are stopped, the bacteria will continue to reproduce. They will spread throughout the body, gradually killing more and more tissue. Because of this, it does appear as though the bacteria are eating the flesh, which is why the infection has been nicknamed the flesh-eating bug.

Quick diagnosis and treatment of flesh-eating bug

As mentioned above, the rate of tissue destruction is rapid. The bacteria must therefore be stopped with medical treatment, or they will progress throughout the body, killing more and more tissue. It will not take long for bacteria to get into the bloodstream, after which the infection will travel around the body in the blood, causing sepsis a life-threatening complication.

Along with the threat of sepsis, the extent of tissue damage can be extremely troubling. Sometimes the bacteria can 'eat' through the tissue and muscle all the way down to the bone. If a limb is involved, it may be so damaged that it cannot be restored. An amputation will be necessary.

To prevent life-changing and indeed life-threatening complications, necrotising fasciitis must be diagnosed and treated immediately. Treatment is needed in the form of intravenous antibiotics and debridement surgery.

However, timely treatment can only be provided if medical practitioners diagnose the condition when the patient presents. A diagnosis is formed based upon a patient's symptoms, blood/urine tests, blood pressure test, swabs and exploratory surgery.

Necrotising fasciitis bug not treated in time

When doctors fail to diagnose and treat the necrotising fasciitis bug quickly enough, there may be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim. Please contact us for more information.

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