Necrotizing Fasciitis: Flesh Eating Follies

  • Colin G. KaideEmail author


Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is an uncommon but not rare diagnosis. It develops along a spectrum often initially looking like cellulitis. The ability to correctly make the diagnosis depends on when the patient presents. Early on it may look like cellulitis, but as it progresses, pain out of proportion to exam findings and a sick-looking patient with rapidly progressing disease should lead the practitioner to strongly consider NF. It is usually a polymicrobial infection; however, monomicrobial (usually Streptococcus pyogenes) infection can happen in healthy, otherwise normal individuals. Treatment is, first and foremost, surgical debridement. Antibiotics, while important, are not effective without timely and aggressive surgical intervention. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may play an adjunctive role.


Streptococcus pyogenes Polymicrobial infection Necrotizing fasciitis Hemorrhagic bullae Hyperbaric oxygen Gas-forming organisms 


Disclosure Statement

Callibra, Inc.-Discharge 123 medical software company. Medical Advisory Board Portola Pharmaceuticals. I have no relationship with a commercial company that has a direct financial interest in subject matter or materials discussed in article or with a company making a competing product.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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