Necrotizing fasciitis; Fasciitis - necrotizing; Flesh-eating bacteria; Soft tissue gangrene; Gangrene - soft tissue
Powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics must be given immediately through a vein (IV). Surgery is required to open and drain infected areas and remove dead tissue. Sometimes donor immunoglobulins (antibodies) are given by vein to help fight the infection.
Skin grafts may be needed after the infection goes away. If an arm or leg infection cannot be controlled, amputation of the limb may be considered.
If the bacteria is determined to be an oxygen-avoiding organism (anaerobe), the patient may receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This involves placing the patient in a chamber that delivers 100% oxygen at high pressure.
How well a patient does depends on:
Scarring and deformity are common with this type of disease. The death rate is high, even with aggressive treatment and powerful antibiotics. Untreated, the infection spreads and causes death.
This disorder is severe and may be life threatening, so contact your health care provider immediately if symptoms of infection occur around a skin injury, including:
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