Necrotizing fasciitis: A review of three clinical encounters

Jaron Pettis, Neelam Mulji, Fernando A. Navarro


Background: Necrotizing fasciitis is a potentially lethal soft tissue infection characterized by rampant necrosis and destruction of subcutaneous tissues. Current estimates of necrotizing soft tissue infections in the United States are 4.3 infections per 100,000 of the population. Although the incidence of necrotizing soft tissue infections has decreased in the last decade, the toxic and lethal nature of the disease process lends utmost importance to accurate diagnosis and immediate management. The purpose of this review article is to report three cases of necrotizing fasciitis and provide literature review in regards to hallmark characteristics, predisposing risk factors and treatment optimization.
Case: The first case depicts a newly diagnosed 43-year-old male HIV patient with necrotizing fasciitis infection characterized by Klebsiella, Serratia and anaerobic bacteria cultures. The second case describes the course of a 71-year-old male diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis in the setting of a complicated anal fistula characterized by B. fragilis, S. anginosus and Prevotella species. The third and final case describes the course of a 44-year-old female diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis in the setting of Ludwig’s Angina characterized by Klebsiella and Dubliensis species. Treatment was initiated with extensive wound debridement, multiple washouts and broad antibiotic regimens in all three cases. Additional hyperbaric oxygen therapy was administered in the third case.
Conclusions: These case reports illustrate the range of severity and settings in which necrotizing fasciitis can occur. Significant morbidity and mortality rates are associated with a delay in treatment initiation. Given this, it is of utmost importance to develop and maintain a high clinical acumen for necrotizing soft tissue infections.

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Case Studies in Surgery  ISSN 2377-7311(Print)  ISSN 2377-732X(Online)

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