Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Flesh Eating Bacteria Overview

Another name for Flesh Eating Bacteria is Necrotizing Fasciitis.

What is necrotizing fasciitis?
A person with necrotizing fasciitis has a life-threatening bacterial infection of the tissues that lie beneath the skin. The infection spreads rapidly, destroying the tissue, and can eventually cause sepsis. Most cases of necrotizing fasciitis are caused by common bacteria that infect the skin, called group A streptococcus.

What are the symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis?
Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include skin swelling, skin redness, skin blisters, severe pain, fever, weakness, and fatigue. Pus may also drain from the skin.

How does the doctor treat necrotizing fasciitis?
Treatment for necrotizing fasciitis includes intravenous fluids, antibiotics, narcotic pain medications, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever. Necrotizing fasciitis usually requires surgery, in order to remove infected tissue.

Continue to Flesh Eating Bacteria Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Flesh Eating Bacteria References
  1. Fritzsche SD. Soft-tissue infection: necrotizing fasciitis. Plast Surg Nurs. 2003 Winter;23(4):155-9. [14976707]
  2. Jallali N, Withey S, Butler PE. Hyperbaric oxygen as adjuvant therapy in the management of necrotizing fasciitis. Am J Surg. 2005 Apr;189(4):462-6. [15820462]
  3. Taviloglu K, Cabioglu N, Cagatay A, Yanar H, Ertekin C, Baspinar I, Ozsut H, Guloglu R. Idiopathic necrotizing fasciitis: risk factors and strategies for management. Am Surg. 2005 Apr;71(4):315-20. [15943405]
  4. Wong CH, Wang YS. The diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;18(2):101-6. [15735411]
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