Necrotising Fasciitis Medical Malpractice

Necrotising Fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a bacterial infection that is deep-seated and attacks the muscle and the fascia. In necrotising fasciitis is not treated correctly as a matter of urgency the outcome can be very severe.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the failure to appropriately treat a necrotising fasciitis infection you may be entitled to claim compensation and you should contact us at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors.

What is necrotising fasciitis:

Necrotising fasciitis is caused by certain bacteria, usually group A streptococcus bacteria. Necrotising fasciitis is when the infection gets to deep into the bodies tissue that it effects the muscle and the fascia. The bacteria reproduces and a chemical is released that can damage the flesh muscle and even the nerves.  Your tissue can die and this is called necrosis.

Symptoms of necrotising fasciitis:

  • The bacterial infection of necrotising fasciitis is associated with very intensive and severe pain with no other obvious cause.
  • The skin can become inflamed, red and hot to touch.
  • The patient will have a fever.

The treatment for necrotising fasciitis:

A patient who has been diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis will require intravenous antibiotic therapy and also surgical debridement. All of the infected or necrotic (dead) tissue will have to be cut away so that all of the bacteria is removed from the body. Many patients require a number of surgical debridements.

Necrotising fasciitis following a C-section:

Ladies who deliver their babies by way of a C-section should receive antibiotics that cover streptococcal organisms. In the absence of such antibiotics, cesarean section delivery can have a five to twenty-fold greater risk for infection comparing to women who give birth vaginally.

The routine use of appropriate antibiotics during C-section delivery can reduce the risk of wound and womb infections for mothers by 60-70% and this is so whether the section was a planned C-section or an elective C-section.

Should a new mother become unwell following a C-section delivery it is most important that there is recognition of the development of the infection as a continuum? This means that the infection evolves from a locally based process i.e. at the surgical site and this can then lead to the involvement of the whole body. In other words the aggressiveness of the infection can lead to a whole system shut down. A patient’s vital signs have to be closely monitored including blood pressure, white cell count, CRP, and the appearance of the surgical site being red and inflamed is a tell tail sign of necrotising fasciitis. A further tell tail sign is a new mother being readmitted with diarrhea and lochia a foul-smelling discharge from the site of the infection.

Necrotising fasciitis can be resistant to certain antibiotics and therefore, it is so important that the correct antibiotic is administered intravenously to stop the infection in its tracks before the patients entire system is impacted.

Do you have a claim for necrotising fasciitis:

Medical negligence means that the level of care that you received was substandard which resulted in you suffering additional injury or harm. With necrotising fasciitis the treatment you receive can be substandard in three ways:

  • A failure to diagnose

Necrotising fasciitis should be diagnosed swiftly if very serious consequences are to be avoided. Unfortunately, the symptoms of necrotising fasciitis can be mistaken for a much more minor condition and so there can be a delay in diagnosing the condition allowing the infection to spread freely.

  • Delayed treatment

Once necrotising fasciitis is diagnosed the condition should be treated immediately with strong intravenous antibiotics and the necrotic tissue needs to be surgically debrided. This surgical procedure is urgent as the infection will continue to grow until such time as the necrotic tissue is cut away and removed from the body.

  • Wrongful treatment

necrotising fasciitis is not amenable to all antibiotics and is resistant to some antibiotics. Therefore, the failure of any medical practitioner to prescribe the correct antibiotics will allow the bacteria to continue to grow and the patient will become increasingly unwell.

If you believe that you have had substandard treatment in relation to your necrotising fasciitis infection you should contact the Solicitors at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors and we can advise you on your options and lead the way if any litigation is to follow.

We are available to take your call or answer your email, so please do not hesitate to contact us on  074 91 75989 or 01- 871 7571   or complete our online enquiry form or email us at

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