PURPOSE: To update the practitioner with causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for necrotizing fasciitis. TARGET AUDIENCE: This continuing education activity is intended for physicians and nurses with an interest in better understanding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of necrotizing fasciitis. OBJECTIVES: After reading this article and taking this test, the reader should be able to: 1. Identify the risk factors and causes of necrotizing fasciitis (NF). 2. Describe the clinical presentation and diagnosis of NF. 3. Explain the treatment options for NF.
"NF may be caused by a variety of aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes or group A streptococci (GAS), Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Clostridium and Bacteroides species
. Rarely, group B, C, and G streptococci, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio vulnificus, and fungi are involved
. Frequently the disease is polymicrobial
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The incidence and mortality from necrotizing fasciitis (NF) are increasing in New Zealand (NZ). Triggered by a media report that traditional Samoan tattooing was causing NF, we conducted a chart review to investigate the role of this and other predisposing and precipitating factors and to document NF microbiology, complications and interventions in NZ.
We conducted a retrospective review of 299 hospital charts of patients discharged with NF diagnosis codes in eight hospitals in NZ between 2000 and 2006. We documented and compared by ethnicity the prevalence of predisposing and precipitating conditions, bacteria isolated, complications and interventions used.
Out of 299 charts, 247 fulfilled the case definition. NF was most common in elderly males. Diabetes was the most frequent co-morbid condition, followed by obesity. Nearly a quarter of patients were taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Traditional Samoan tattooing was an uncommon cause. Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus were the two commonly isolated bacteria. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was implicated in a relatively small number of cases. Shock, renal failure, coagulation abnormality and multi-organ dysfunction were common complications. More than 90% of patients underwent surgical debridement, 56% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) and slightly less than half of all patients had blood product transfusion. One in six NF cases had amputations and 23.5% died.
This chart review found that the highest proportion of NF cases was elderly males with co-morbidities, particularly diabetes and obesity. Tattooing was an uncommon precipitating event. The role of NSAID needs further exploration. NF is a serious disease with severe complications, high case fatality and considerable use of health care resources.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare, life-threatening infection most commonly seen in patients with diabetes mellitus, intravenous drug abuse, and immunocompromised conditions. The extremities are the primary sites of involvement in as many as two thirds of the cases. In a significant proportion of patients, the extremities are involved as a result of trauma, needle puncture or extravasation of drugs. The infection is usually polymicrobial. Treatment involves broad-spectrum antibiotics and multiple surgical debridements or amputation. We present a patient with necrotizing fasciitis of the upper limb and present our experience with this often lethal condition.
"(usually V. vulnificus) is known to cause severe necrotizing wound infection, necrotizing fasciitis and sepsis [23,26], resulting in a separate classification of Type 3 necrotizing fasciitis caused by marine Vibrio spp. [13,27]. Ingestion of V. vulnificus in the form of contaminated seafood, such as raw fish, raw oysters or from open wounds that have been exposed to seawater, can lead to bloodstream infection and NF, especially in immunocompromised patients, with a mortality rate of about 50% . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a life threatening infectious disease with a high mortality rate. We carried out a microbiological characterization of the causative pathogens. We investigated the correlation of mortality in NF with bloodstream infection and with the presence of co-morbidities.
In this retrospective study, we analyzed 323 patients who presented with necrotizing fasciitis at two different institutions. Bloodstream infection (BSI) was defined as a positive blood culture result. The patients were categorized as survivors and non-survivors. Eleven clinically important variables which were statistically significant by univariate analysis were selected for multivariate regression analysis and a stepwise logistic regression model was developed to determine the association between BSI and mortality.
Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that patients with hypotension, heart disease, liver disease, presence of Vibrio spp. in wound cultures, presence of fungus in wound cultures, and presence of Streptococcus group A, Aeromonas spp. or Vibrio spp. in blood cultures, had a significantly higher risk of in-hospital mortality. Our multivariate logistic regression analysis showed a higher risk of mortality in patients with pre-existing conditions like hypotension, heart disease, and liver disease. Multivariate logistic regression analysis also showed that presence of Vibrio spp in wound cultures, and presence of Streptococcus Group A in blood cultures were associated with a high risk of mortality while debridement > = 3 was associated with improved survival.
Mortality in patients with necrotizing fasciitis was significantly associated with the presence of Vibrio in wound cultures and Streptococcus group A in blood cultures.
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