Necrotizing soft tissue infections are rare and very serious bacterial infections. These flesh-eating bacteria can cause permanent damage and can be life-threatening. Necrotizing fasciitis is the most common form of the infection, and mixes aerobic, facultatively anaerobic and anaerobic bacteria to cause systemic toxicity.
Necrosis is the death of cells and tissues. Muscle, connective tissue and skin that are exposed can become infected, suffer hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and eventually die. This leads to organ failure and possible death. Because it spreads so quickly, those who believe they have necrosis must seek medical attention immediately.
MRSA is the most common cause of necrosis. Infections may also begin at a needle puncture site, an insect bite, a surgical wound, skin abscess or any other trauma that compromises the skin. While colon cancer and obesity are also thought to be predisposing factors, some cases show no trauma.
Patients experiencing severe necrosis must be hospitalized and require intensive care support. In extreme cases, treatment involves resuscitation, aggressive surgical debridement, intravenous antibiotics and supplement oxygen. After consulting with a doctor, some patients have the option of using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat necrosis. Strains of the bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they grow in low-oxygen environments. Due to high-pressure oxygen delivery, HBOT inhibits anaerobic replication, spreading and the release of damaging toxins. In addition, HBOT can help enhance antibiotics and the body’s natural defenses against sepsis, a deadly blood poisoning. HBOT is an FDA approved way to treat necrotizing soft tissue infections and reduces the need for intravenous antibiotics and surgery.
Please consult your doctor immediately if you believe you have necrosis. Quick detection is key.
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