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Necrotizing Fasciitis, Ambulatory Care

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Necrotizing fasciitis

is a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly and destroys skin, fat, and muscle. It is also known as flesh-eating bacteria. Necrotizing fasciitis is a life-threatening infection that must be treated immediately.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Redness, swelling, and severe pain
  • Sores or blisters that ooze
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, nausea, and muscle pain
  • Fatigue, lightheadedness, and fainting

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Fever and a new wound with redness, swelling, or pain
  • Flu-like symptoms within 24 hours of an injury
  • Dark blisters near your wound that drain black fluid
  • Numb skin around your wound
  • Discolored or flaky skin around your wound

Treatment for necrotizing fasciitis

may include any of the following:

  • Medicines help treat your infection and reduce your pain.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove dead tissue and help prevent spread of your infection. You may need surgery to relieve pressure, or a skin graft to reconstruct the infection site. Limb amputation may be needed to save your life.
  • Hyperbaric therapy may be used to decrease swelling and increase wound healing.
  • Wound vacuum therapy may be used to help stop bacteria from spreading and increase wound healing.

Prevent another infection:

  • Clean all wounds immediately. Use soap and water to clean even small breaks in your skin, such as minor cuts or blisters. Cover the wounds with a sterile bandage.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food.
  • Limit your exposure to bacteria. Avoid people who are sick and have a sore throat. The bacteria that cause strep throat can also cause necrotizing fasciitis.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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