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Necrotising Fasciitis
Raising Awareness of Necrotising Fasciitis

Raising Awareness of Necrotising Fasciitis

The Governor of Michigan in the United States has declared May 31st to be 'Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day.' Perhaps this will help more people to understand the devastation that can be brought about by this appalling illness.

'Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day'

According to his website, Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, U.S.A., has declared May as 'Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Month' in an attempt to raise awareness of this awful, life-threatening illness and encourage research into its causes and treatment.

In the UK, this move has been welcomed by the Lee Sparks Foundation, the charity set up in 2000 to provide support and information to the victims of necrotising fasciitis and their families.

What is necrotising fasciitis?

Necrotising fasciitis is a deep tissue infection which can prove fatal to the patient within days if not diagnosed or treated urgently.

When certain bacteria reach the deep tissue layers within the body, usually via a wound to the skin, they release toxins which destroy the tissue and spread rapidly through the body threatening major organs and ultimately taking the life of the patient.

What are the effects of necrotising fasciitis?

The only effective treatment for necrotising fasciitis, if diagnosed promptly, is the surgical removal of all damaged tissue. The aim of this is to halt the spread of the infection and preserve the remaining areas of the body. Unfortunately, this may require several surgical procedures to ensure that all dead tissue is removed. Because necrotising fasciitis is a virulent infection, this will frequently require the removal of significant amounts of skin and tissue.

If the patient survives, the best outcome is where this has been achieved with the minimum amount of surgery which can then be repaired with skin grafts. In worse cases, the extent of the wound may leave scarring and the need for plastic surgery. In the most severe cases, a limb (usually a lower limb) will need to be amputated, leaving the patient disabled and requiring on-going physical (and possibly, psychological) support.

Surviving necrotising fasciitis

Patients who survive this shocking illness can be regarded as fortunate but their life is likely to be permanently affected by it, nonetheless.

Their physical and psychological damage will require understanding and long-term support.

Urgent responses to necrotising fasciitis

It is clear that greater awareness and better understanding of necrotising fasciitis can only help those who develop the condition. Accurate methods of diagnosis and pathogen recognition, along with a cure could reduce the current levels of destruction of this illness which currently has a mortality rate of approximately 40% even when treatment is given.

Medical Negligence

If you or a loved one have suffered the appalling effects of necrotising fasciitis due to delayed diagnosis or treatment, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. This may help to deal with your long-term injuries.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, a specialist medical negligence practice.

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