Necrotising Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Disease)

Necrotizing fasciitis is a type of soft tissue infection. It can destroy the tissue in your skin and muscles as well as subcutaneous tissue, which is the tissue beneath your skin. Necrotizing fasciitis is most commonly caused by group A Streptococcus, commonly known as “flesh-eating bacteria”, that's the same type of bacteria that causes strep throat. This is the fastest moving form of the infection. When this infection is caused by other types of bacteria, it typically doesn’t progress as quickly and isn’t quite as dangerous. This bacterial skin infection is rare in healthy people.

Benefits of HBOT :

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a recognized adjunct to surgical debridements, antibiotic therapy and maximal goal-directed critical care therapy for infections of soft tissues resulting in necrosis. A number of clinical scenarios, specific lesions and syndromes have been described over the years, based on the affected tissues and location of infection, the etiologic organism or combination of organisms involved in the infection, and particular host immunologic and vascular risk factors. In all of these clinical situations, there appears to be the common denominator of the development of hypoxia resulting in necrosis. Leukocytes can kill bacteria only when they have enough oxygen available to them. Improved oxygenation improves white cell function to clear bacteria. Organisms most affected by oxidation are those involved in abscess formation and wound infection. HBOT provides oxygen at the cellular level, promoting wound healing. Increased Partial Pressures of Oxygen may decrease neutrophil adherence (white blood cells sticking to blood vessel linings) which damages the vessel linings. HBOT may facilitate antibiotic penetration or action in several classes of antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, sulfonamides and amphotericin. HBOT Promotes regeneration and growth of tissues. Amputation rates of 26%(22) up to 50%(23) are reported in cases of necrotizing fasciitis of the extremities, without hyperbaric therapy. Mortality in reported series ranges from 16.9% up to 66% without the use of hyperbaric oxygen. Mortality is often associated with delayed diagnosis, underlying immunocompromise, and underlying heart disease, degree of leukocytosis, septic shock and severe underlying metabolic abnormalities.