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Necrotising Fasciitis
Necrotizing Fasciitis Cure

Necrotizing Fasciitis Cure

Necrotising fasciitis must be treated immediately with broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgical debridement. If this is carried out in time, necrotising fasciitis can be cured. If there is a delay, the patient may not survive.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics

As soon as a patient is suspected of having a soft tissue infection, broad-spectrum antibiotics must be administered intravenously (meaning straight into a vein). Broad-spectrum antibiotics tackle a wide range of bacteria, including both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics are needed in the early stages because medical practitioners will not know what bacteria is causing the illness. The medication can be refined at a later stage, once the laboratory test results have confirmed what bacteria are present. Until then a patient should continue with broad-spectrum antibiotics, which will help to kill the infectious organisms.

Surgical debridement

Shortly after being administered antibiotics, a patient should be taken to theatre for emergency surgical debridement. Debridement is when dead tissue is surgically cut away. This procedure may immediately follow on from exploratory surgery, where surgeons open up the tissue to check for signs of necrosis.

Surgical debridement is needed to remove the infected tissue. Without it, the bacteria will remain inside the body and tissue necrosis will continue. This means that repeat operations may be needed to ensure absolutely all of the dead tissue is removed. If this is not achieved, necrotising fasciitis cannot be cured.

Amputation

It will be very problematic if a large area of tissue has become necrotic, as it will all have to be debrided. In some cases a limb or organ will have been severely affected by tissue necrosis. If this is irreversible, the limb will have to be amputated, or the organ resected (meaning part of it is removed). This can cause future dysfunction for instance, if part of the bowel is resected, the patient may be left with a colostomy.

Wound closure

After debridement surgery the patient will have a gaping wound. Further treatment will be required to aid the closure of the wound. The plastic and reconstructive surgeons may be asked to assist, as skin grafts may be necessary. Vacuum-assisted closure can also be helpful.

Timing of necrotizing fasciitis treatment

The timing of treatment is very important with necrotizing fasciitis as it is a very aggressive infection. Antibiotics and debridement are needed on an emergency basis. If treatment is not given quickly enough, the patient may suffer fatal complications. If treatment is delayed due to medical errors, there could be a case of medical negligence.

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