Necrotising fasciitis must be diagnosed and treated quickly. In this article we explore why a swift diagnosis is so important and what will happen if treatment is delayed.
Why must necrotising fasciitis be diagnosed quickly?
Necrotising fasciitis must be diagnosed quickly because it is a serious infection that can lead to devastating complications within a matter of days, sometimes even hours.
Necrotising fasciitis is when bacteria enter the body and release a poisonous chemical that kills the tissue. In medical terms, this is called necrosis. The bacteria that cause this necrosis will rapidly multiply and spread across the body, resulting in more and more necrotic tissue.
As the bacteria continue to spread, two things will happen. Firstly, the patient will have a large open wound. This will of course be extremely painful and, if the patient survives, will leave an unsightly defect, often leading to severe psychological trauma.
Secondly, the blood supply to the area of necrosis will be cut off and it will become deficient in oxygen. This can cause permanent damage to the site of infection, which is often in the groin, genitals and pelvic region. It is also possible that the infection will spread to the blood, resulting in septic shock. This can lead to organ failure and death.
Because of these risks, it is well accepted that if there is a concern over a possible necrotising infection then it is mandatory to perform exploration and wide debridement as any delay or failure to do so is usually fatal.
Failing to diagnose in a timely fashion
Unfortunately, however, medical professionals do not always manage to diagnose necrotising fasciitis in a timely fashion. This is might happen because doctors:-
- Are unaware of necrotising fasciitis;
- Disregard the possibility of necrotising fasciitis at the outset and fail to reconsider the diagnosis;
- Mistake the condition for a less serious problem such as cellulitis;
- Fail to carry out diagnostic tests that would verify a serious infection;
- Fail to perform exploration surgery.
If medical professionals do fail to diagnose necrotising fasciitis within an acceptable amount of time and this causes the patient to suffer further injury, there could be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.
Claiming compensation for necrotising fasciitis
If you would like to know more about claiming compensation for necrotising fasciitis, you need to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. A legal expert who specialises in necrotising fasciitis claims will be able to advise you further, explaining whether or not you could be eligible for financial redress.