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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotizing Fasciitis and Sepsis

Necrotizing Fasciitis and Sepsis

Necrotizing fasciitis can result in sepsis if treatment is not given in time. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that causes organ dysfunction.

Necrotizing fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection. It affects the deep tissues in the body, causing them to break down and die. Necrotizing fasciitis develops after certain bacteria enter the body, normally through a break in the skin such as a cut, or through an opening such as the eye. The bacteria then start to multiply, which sets off a series of reactions that ultimately results in tissue necrosis (death).

Sepsis

Because the bacteria are reproducing, the site of infection will continuously grow, creating more and more necrotic tissue. The blood vessels run through the tissue, meaning the bacteria can easily get into the bloodstream. This is very dangerous as it can trigger a septic response, where the body attempts to fight the infection but injures its own tissues and organs in the process.

Necrotizing fasciitis and sepsis

Not everyone who has a bacterial infection will develop sepsis. However, necrotising fasciitis is a very aggressive infection, making sepsis much more likely. The chances are greatly increased if treatment is delayed, as this will give the bacteria more time to reach the bloodstream. Therefore to prevent sepsis, medical practitioners must treat a patient as soon as possible.

Treating necrotizing fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis must be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics administered intravenously, and surgical debridement. Debridement is when all of the dead tissue is cut away. More than one procedure may be needed to remove absolutely all the infection tissue. This treatment is required on an emergency basis. Any delay could put the patient at risk of life-threatening complications.

Delays in treating necrotizing fasciitis

If there are delays treating in necrotizing fasciitis and medical errors are to blame, there could be a case of medical negligence. Necrotizing fasciitis is often labelled a 'rare' infection. Despite this, medical practitioners should be able to make a diagnosis and provide treatment without delays. If medical mistakes slow the process down, the level of care will be considered substandard.

Making a claim

Anyone who has suffered as a result of substandard medical care is entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. For more information, you need to speak to a solicitor. Claims have to be made within three years of the event, so it is important you seek advice sooner rather than later.

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