As we have seen over previous weeks, necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a relatively uncommon but potential devastating infection of the soft tissues. It can begin as an existing infection in an innocuous wound such as a bite or a scratch but progresses so rapidly that diagnosis and treatment are often left far behind. NF is particularly threatening when it emerges from an internal or deep tissue infection, as it can spread widely and to a devastating extent before visible signs become apparent.
Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis
Most cases of NF are due to bacterial infections, with group A streptococci bacteria being the most commonly implicated. Treatment of NF, therefore, relies on the rapid implementation of broad-spectrum antibiotics, as well as an intensive and thorough regime of surgical debridement. Despite medical attention, mortality rates from NF remain high, and morbidity can remain a serious problem for many survivors.
Next week, we will turn our attention to calciphylaxis, the vascular calcification syndrome common in patients with chronic kidney disease.
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