Necrotizing fasciitis (NF)
Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a bacterial infection of the skin, commonly occurring when bacteria pass into the body through an open cut, scrape, burn wound or other puncture wound.
Patients with NF may complain of swelling and muscle soreness at the site of the infectious process. The skin is generally warm to the touch and red or purple in color. As the disease progresses, it may be accompanied by blisters, ulcers or blackening of the skin. NF is a medical emergency and should be treated in an urgent manner as the bacteria quickly spreads through connective tissue, and can lead to amputations or death within a narrow window of time. Aggressive surgical debridement, coupled with systemic antimicrobials and hyperbaric oxygen, is often required to prevent the infection from continuing to spread and potentially result in significant morbidity and mortality.