Symptoms of necrotising fasciitis
Necrotising fasciitis occurs when a certain type of bacteria enter the body and begin to reproduce. As they do so, the bacteria will release a chemical that attacks the tissue. This will cause:
- Severe pain at the site of infection which is often disproportionate to the injury
- Flu like symptoms
After around 24 hours, there will also be some visual signs of infection. At the site of intense pain, the area of skin will be:
- Hot to touch
As the infection continues, the skin will get progressively darker in colour, turning from red to a deep purple. Blisters filled with a blackish fluid will develop and the skin may break down entirely, leaving a large open wound. The area of skin discolouration will grow as the infection spreads.
If treatment has not been provided within three to four days, critical symptoms will arise, including:
- Low blood pressure
- Septic shock
When should you seek medical attention?
Necrotising fasciitis requires urgent medical attention. Two of the most telling signs are:
- An excruciating pain that does not tally with the level of trauma sustained (if an injury can even be detected); and
Anyone who is displaying these symptoms of must go straight to hospital for assessment. All medical professionals should have an understanding of necrotising fasciitis, including a thorough knowledge of the symptoms involved. This should enable a quick diagnosis to be obtained, ensuring the infection is treated before it reaches the advanced stages.