February 13, 2016
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Necrotizing Fasciitis (cont.)

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What is the prognosis (outcome) for patients with necrotizing fasciitis? What are complications of necrotizing fasciitis?

Untreated necrotizing fasciitis has a poor prognosis; death or severe morbidity (for example, limb loss) is the frequent outcome. Data on the number of cases per year are estimated between 500-1,000 per year in the U.S. Data in most other countries are incomplete, and some investigators think the actual U.S. case numbers may be much higher. Even with appropriate treatment, the mortality (death) rate can be as high as 25%. Infection with MRSA and other multidrug-resistant organisms tends to have higher morbidity and mortality rates. Combined mortality and morbidity (for example, limb loss, scar formation, renal failure, and sepsis) for all cases of necrotizing fasciitis has been reported as 70%-80%. Cases of Fournier's gangrene have reported as high as 75% mortality rates, while cases of Vibrio vulnificus-associated necrotizing fasciitis have about a 50% mortality rate. Fortunately, Vibrio vulnificus infection is relatively uncommon, but the incidence seems to be increasing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2007, made Vibrio vulnificus infection a reportable disease so the statistics on the incidence (frequency of occurrence) should be more easily obtained in the future.

The worst complication of this disease is rapid advancement that results in death. Other serious complications include tissue loss and organ damage to areas that have to be removed by surgery to limit the disease. Other complications include amputation, sepsis, kidney failure, and extensive scarring.

What are some additional sources of information on necrotizing fasciitis?

"BBB - Aeromonas hydrophila," U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"Dermatologic Manifestations of Necrotizing Fasciitis," Medscape.com


Maynor, Michael E. "Emergent Management of Necrotizing Fasciitis." Medscape.com. Nov. 13, 2013. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/784690-overview>.

"Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh-Eating Bacteria)." WebMD.com. Feb. 10, 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/necrotizing-fasciitis-flesh-eating-bacteria-topic-overview>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Necrotizing Fasciitis: A Rare Disease, Especially for the Healthy." June 28, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/necrotizingfasciitis/>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/22/2014

Source: MedicineNet.com

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