Objectives: Necrotizing fasciitis is a challenging and potentially lethal disease; early diagnosis is of paramount importance and aggressive multidisciplinary treatment is mandatory. Overall mortality rates of 33-73% have been reported. The aim of this study was to report the experience with necrotizing fasciitis of an emergency surgery department. Methods: From October 1995 to December 2001 we observed 11 cases of necrotizing fasciitis. The patients were five men and six women, with ages ranging from 33 to 80 years. Results: Triggering aetiological factors were found in eight cases. In all patients a multidisciplinary approach was utilized. Every patient had a daily surgical debridement of the necrotic areas in the operating room. Polyantibiotic therapy was performed, and was changed according to culture results. After surgery, nine patients were submitted to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Seven deaths (63.6%) were observed: two cases of pulmonary embolism and five cases of septic shock. Four patients survived; three had a complete recovery with progressive healing of the wounds, whereas one patient had severe impairment of the motility of the affected hand. The mean interval between the onset of symptoms and hospital admission was 5.4 days; for patients who ultimately died it was 7.3 days, whereas for patients who ultimately survived it was 2 days (P<0.05); moreover these patients were significantly younger than those who died (P<0.05). Conclusion: The treatment for necrotizing fasciitis is a combination of surgical debridement, appropriate antibiotics and optimal oxygenation of the infected tissues. However, the mortality for this disease is quite high, and is related to late diagnosis and advanced age. Necrotizing fasciitis must be considered a true dramatic surgical emergency

Necrotizing fascitis: a dramatic surgical emergency

Taffurelli M.
2004

Abstract

Objectives: Necrotizing fasciitis is a challenging and potentially lethal disease; early diagnosis is of paramount importance and aggressive multidisciplinary treatment is mandatory. Overall mortality rates of 33-73% have been reported. The aim of this study was to report the experience with necrotizing fasciitis of an emergency surgery department. Methods: From October 1995 to December 2001 we observed 11 cases of necrotizing fasciitis. The patients were five men and six women, with ages ranging from 33 to 80 years. Results: Triggering aetiological factors were found in eight cases. In all patients a multidisciplinary approach was utilized. Every patient had a daily surgical debridement of the necrotic areas in the operating room. Polyantibiotic therapy was performed, and was changed according to culture results. After surgery, nine patients were submitted to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Seven deaths (63.6%) were observed: two cases of pulmonary embolism and five cases of septic shock. Four patients survived; three had a complete recovery with progressive healing of the wounds, whereas one patient had severe impairment of the motility of the affected hand. The mean interval between the onset of symptoms and hospital admission was 5.4 days; for patients who ultimately died it was 7.3 days, whereas for patients who ultimately survived it was 2 days (P<0.05); moreover these patients were significantly younger than those who died (P<0.05). Conclusion: The treatment for necrotizing fasciitis is a combination of surgical debridement, appropriate antibiotics and optimal oxygenation of the infected tissues. However, the mortality for this disease is quite high, and is related to late diagnosis and advanced age. Necrotizing fasciitis must be considered a true dramatic surgical emergency
Catena F.; La Donna M.; Ansaloni L.; Agrusti S.; Taffurelli M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/96986
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