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Necrotizing Fasciitis

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.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fever and a new wound with redness, swelling, or pain.
  • You have flu-like symptoms within 24 hours of an injury.
  • You have dark blisters near your wound that drain black fluid.
  • The area around your wound is numb.
  • The skin around your wound becomes discolored or flaky.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a sore throat.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Medicines help treat your infection and reduce your pain.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

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

Nutrition:

A dietitian may help you create high-protein meal plans to help with wound healing. High-protein foods include lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, and beans.

Physical therapy (PT):

You may need PT to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. PT also helps to promote blood flow and prevent clots.

Help prevent another infection:

  • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands several times each day. Wash after you use the bathroom, change a child's diaper, and before you prepare or eat food. Use soap and water every time. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Wash the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the fingernails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use germ-killing gel if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.
    Handwashing
  • 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. Change the bandage as directed or if it becomes wet or dirty.
  • Limit 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 doctor as directed:

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

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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.

Learn more about Necrotizing Fasciitis (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.