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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotising Fasciitis  Gas Gangrene

Necrotising Fasciitis Gas Gangrene

Necrotising fasciitis can also be called gas gangrene, as it causes gas to build up in the tissues.

Gas gangrene

Gas gangrene is when gas develops in the tissues due to an infection, causing the tissue to die. Gas gangrene is normally caused by the Clostridium bacteria, although it can occur due to other types of bacteria such as Streptococcus.

What happens is that bacteria get into the tissues and reproduce. The bacteria might get into the body via a surgical wound, cut or needle-entry point. The reproduction process causes the release of toxins and gas into the tissue.

The toxins and the gas damage the nearby tissue and vessels, meaning blood cannot get to the area. Oxygen is carried to tissues in the blood, so without an adequate blood supply the tissue will become deficient in oxygen known medically as 'ischaemia'.

Tissue cannot survive for long without oxygen and it will soon begin to die. Tissue death caused by oxygen deficiency is called gangrene. More specifically, if gas is present in the tissues, it is called gas gangrene.

Gas gangrene and necrotising fasciitis

There are different types of necrotising fasciitis. Type 3 necrotising fasciitis is most commonly associated with gas gangrene. This is because type 3 necrotising fasciitis is usually caused by the Clostridium bacteria, which as mentioned above often leads to gas gangrene.

On the other hand, type 1 necrotising fasciitis is typically caused by different types of bacteria, and type 2 necrotising fasciitis which is normally caused by the Streptococcus bacteria.

Therefore gas gangrene will appear in type 3 necrotising fasciitis, and potentially in type 1 and type 2 necrotising fasciitis.

Treating gas gangrene necrotising fasciitis

Gas gangrene is a medical emergency because it will be fatal if left untreated. Surgery is needed to remove all the dead and infected tissue. Antibiotics are also required to kill the bacteria.

Without treatment, the area of gas gangrene will spread. More and more tissue will die. The bacteria may also travel to the bloodstream, which can set of a septic inflammatory response. This is very serious and can result in multi-system organ failure.

Failure to treat gas gangrene necrotising fasciitis

If gas gangrene with or without necrotising fasciitis is not treated in time, the consequences can be fatal. If a patient does survive but treatment was delayed, he/she may face a long road to recovery. There may also be life-changing injuries such as an amputation.

If you or your family member has suffered because gas gangrene/necrotising fasciitis was not treated in time, please get in touch with us to discuss a claim.

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To make a necrotising fasciitis medical negligence compensation claim, please get in touch with us today.

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