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Necrotising Fasciitis
Surgery Delays and Negligence in Necrotising Fasciitis

Surgery Delays and Negligence in Necrotising Fasciitis

If there is a high suspicion that a patient is suffering from necrotising fasciitis, emergency surgery may be vital to reduce the risk of mortality and minimise the long-term impact.

The impact of delays in surgery

Absolute diagnosis itself may be delayed without surgical intervention. It is not always clear that a patient is in fact suffering with necrotising fasciitis until a biopsy is carried out of their subcutaneous tissue. It also offers the chance to assess the underlying bacterial cause of the infection, assisting in the antibiotic management of the patient.

Necrotising fasciitis is a horrific soft-tissue infection which is associated with a high mortality rate. Surgery is essential to halt the spread of the infection through the patient's body and minimise the likelihood that they will die from the illness. Every delay in commencing surgery increases the chance that the patient will not survive as it gives the infection more time to spread, to cause damage to the body's life-support system and to trigger sepsis.

A delay in starting debridement surgery is also likely to cause greater problems for patients who do survive:

  • as the infection will have spread during the period of delay, it is likely that the patient will need to undergo a greater number of debridement procedures before the infection is halted, each procedure taking its toll on the patient's body
  • the greater the spread of the infection, the more necrotic tissue will need to be removed, meaning greater deformity and greater cosmetic surgery necessary to restore the patient's body
  • a delay in commencing surgery may also mean that the patient is more likely to have to suffer the amputation of a whole or partial limb

The psychological impact may also be more significant where surgery is delayed.

Claiming compensation

If delays in initiating surgery are caused by the medical professionals involved in the patient's care, they may be regarded as having provided only substandard care.

If the patient suffers a poor long-term outcome due to the delay in surgery, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

The medical management of a patient with necrotising fasciitis is extremely complicated and so too is the management of a compensation claim for negligence related to this shocking illness.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the impact of poor medical care of this appalling condition, contact Glynns Solicitors, specialists in medical negligence compensation.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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