Necrotizing Fasciitis is an infection which is caused by bacteria in which skin, fat and tissues covering the muscles are destroyed within a short span of time. This disease is also called as flesh eating bacteria. The infection increases rapidly and is usually located in facial plans of tissues which cover the muscles.
Bacteria are the most common cause of this disease. Group A streptococcus and Staphylococcus with other bacteria are considered to be the causes of this disease in many of the cases. Rarely, other organisms like fungi can cause Necrotizing Fasciitis, but when they do, the infection caused, is difficult to be treated successfully.
The symptoms often seem to appear just after the injury. The patient might has a sudden pain after 24 hours or 36 hours of injury then he or she should get medical care on immediate basis. The other symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis are that the affected skin gets red, swollen and hot; patient suffers from fever and chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The doctor starts the diagnosis on the basis of the symptoms of the infection. How suddenly those symptoms have evolved and how rapidly the infection is spreading out? The infected tissues are tested for the bacteria to find out which bacteria have caused it. The patient has to undergo for x-rays, CT scan or MRI so that doctors could look for the injury to the organ and how much the infection has spread.
The patient is hospitalized and is started with the antibiotics at the time of preliminary diagnosis. The antibiotics are selected on the basis of the type of flesh eating bacteria. The surgeon is consulted as per the area of infection, who shall start with the further treatment.
If the patient is left untreated then the results are fatal, as the infection keeps spreading, affecting and damaging the vital organs as well. Other complications include are kidney failure, sepsis, extensive scarring.
Immediate treatment of the infection is the best prevention for Necrotizing Fasciitis. Proper hand washing, checking extremities for cuts or wounds if a patient is diabetic and avoiding any physical contact with the person suffering from MSRA are few preventive measures.
The average cost of treatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis is around $50,000 to $100,000 per case. But again this is just an estimate. It may vary from hospital to hospital and on the severity of the infection and disease.