The initial symptoms of necrotising fasciitis can be mild and vague. However, the condition will quickly progress and the patient will soon be extremely unwell.
The rapid progression of necrotising fasciitis is extremely dangerous as life-threatening complications can arise within days. It is therefore vital that medical practitioners recognise and treat the infection without delay.
If you or your loved one has come to harm because doctors did not diagnose and treat necrotising fasciitis in time, please get in touch with our friendly legal team. There could be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.
Progression of symptoms for necrotising fasciitis
Not all patients with necrotising fasciitis will present with the same symptoms. Furthermore, the initial symptoms of necrotising fasciitis do not appear serious.
Ordinarily the first symptoms to appear are fever and localised pain within the deep tissues. The pain will not have any apparent cause and the patient may even seem relatively well. Therefore these symptoms can throw medical practitioners off course, as they do not have an obvious cause and are similar to other, more minor conditions (such as the flu).
Other symptoms will then develop that are more indicative of a soft tissue injury. Most notably there will be visible skin changes around the site of pain. The skin will be red, swollen and hot to touch.
These skin changes will get progressively worse until there are blisters and black/purple skin. At this stage the tissue has died and a gaping wound may develop. This signals that the condition has progressed to the advanced stages.
Recognising the progression of necrotising fasciitis
Necrotising fasciitis is a fast-moving infection and a patient can reach the advanced stages within days of becoming infected.
Medical practitioners must carefully observe a patient and take note of the deterioration. They should then realise that the progression of symptoms suggests necrotising fasciitis. Suspicions should be especially raised when a patient’s condition does not respond to antibiotics.
Failure to detect necrotising fasciitis
It is very important that doctors do recognise the progression of symptoms as this will lead to an accurate diagnosis being made.
If medical practitioners fail to achieve this, the patient will be left without the treatment that is desperately required for necrotising fasciitis. This can result in serious complications, particularly sepsis and organ failure.
If a patient does suffer harm because clinicians do not manage to diagnose and treat necrotising fasciitis quickly, there could be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim. Contact us to find out more.