If necrotising fasciitis is not treated in time, it could lead to an amputated limb. If this has happened to you and a delay in medical treatment is to blame, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Necrotising fasciitis – a medical emergency
Necrotising fasciitis is a medical emergency. This means it must be treated immediately if serious complications are to be avoided.
This is because necrotising fasciitis is an aggressive bacterial infection that causes the tissue to die. Once inside the body the bacteria reproduce at a rapid rate, releasing a poisonous toxin that causes the tissue to break down. Consequently the blood and oxygen supply is disrupted, causing the tissue to break down even further. Eventually the damage will be so severe that the tissue will simply die. Once this has happened the tissue cannot be saved.
Loss of limb after necrotising fasciitis
Tissue necrosis can occur within hours of the bacteria entering the body. Shortly afterwards an open wound will develop. If treatment is not provided to kill the bacteria, they will continue to reproduce and spread, creating more and more necrotic tissue.
All of the necrotic tissue will ultimately need to be surgically removed – a procedure known as surgical debridement. If the bacteria have entered a limb, the tissue necrosis may be so extensive that an amputation becomes necessary. The only way to avoid this amputation is to provide treatment in the early stages. This will stop the bacteria in their tracks, preventing the spread of necrosis throughout the limb.
Delay in treating necrotising fasciitis
Having a limb amputated because of necrotising fasciitis will of course be devastating. The loss of a leg or an arm will turn someone’s life upside down, preventing them from doing the things they once took for granted.
Because necrotising fasciitis is such as fast-moving infection, there are occasions when a patient simply doesn’t seek medical attention in time, believing they have a more minor condition such as the flu. By the time he/she presents to hospital, the infection has become so advanced that an amputation is required.
However, there are also times when a delay in treatment can be attributed to medical error. Sadly this does happen, as medical professionals may not recognise a patient’s symptoms and make a misdiagnosis. This will allow the bacteria to continue to reproduce, leading to serious complications such as an amputation.
If an amputation does occur because medical professionals fail to diagnose and treat necrotising fasciitis in a timely manner, there will be grounds for a compensation claim. Contact us to find out more.