Have you ever heard of a bacterium called Necrotizing Fasciitis? In addition to the E. Coli bacteria that were first known for being related to the baby’s digestive organs, these bacteria also have hidden dangers when the baby has an external wound that is usually underestimated.
Necrotizing Fasciitis Definition
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the death of intestinal tissue due to inflammation. NEC is a rare and dangerous disease that affects newborns.
Although all newborns can get the disease, NEC is more common in premature or sick babies at birth, especially if the baby weighs less than 1.5 Kg. The lower the baby’s weight, the higher the risk of NEC occurs.
NEC begins with an injury in the intestinal tract that continues with the premature death of cells and living tissues residing in the area. This condition can cause the baby to experience a swollen stomach, decreased appetite, to cause a slow heartbeat.
Although the exact cause of NEC is still unknown, lack of oxygen during labor and intestinal infections are believed to be factors causing the condition to occur. Treatment of NEC is carried out with various medical measures and the administration of drugs such as antibiotics.
Necrotizing Fasciitis Facts
The following are some facts related to necrotising fasciitis that need to be known:
- Necrotising fasciitis affects one out of every 100,000 people per year in some regions of the world.
- Necrotising fasciitis was first described in 1871.
- The term necrotising fasciitis was coined by Wilson in the 1950s.
- Necrotising fasciitis is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose.
- Necrotising fasciitis can cause morbidity and mortality.
- Necrotising fasciitis is more dominant in men.
- Necrotising fasciitis in the scro**tum is known to cause dermal gangrene (Fournier’s gangrene) due to a lack of subcutaneous fat.
- Group A streptococcus has caused 700-1,200 cases of necrotizing fasciitis each year since 2010 in the United States.
- Necrotising fasciitis is generally not an infectious disease and most cases of necrotising fasciitis occur randomly.
Necrotizing Fasciitis Causes
Flesh-eating bacterial infections can give rise to a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis. This condition is a severe infection of the skin and body tissues due to flesh-eating bacteria. The bacteria can enter through gaps in the wound, ranging from puncture wounds, bruises, burns, to insect bite wounds.
Some types of bacteria that are classified as meat-eating bacteria are:
- Group A Streptococcus
- Aeromonas hydrophila
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Escherichia coli (E. coli)
- Bacteroides, Prevotella, Clostridium, and Klebsiella.
Although dangerous, meat-eating bacterial infections are quite rare. However, there are several medical conditions or diseases that can increase a person’s risk of getting this dangerous bacterial infection, including:
- Organ damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure
- Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and peripheral vascular disease
- Weak immune system, for example, due to HIV infection or malnutrition
- Side effects of medications, such as long-term corticosteroids or chemotherapy
- Alco**hol addiction or drug use in injectable form.
Necrotizing Fasciitis Symptoms
Symptoms of infection due to flesh-eating bacteria are divided into 3 stages, namely the initial stage, the advanced stage, and the critical stage. Here’s the explanation:
Early symptoms of infection usually occur within 24 hours and include fever and severe pain in the injured part of the body. The pain felt by the patient can exceed the shape or size of the wound.
Follow-up symptoms usually occur within 3-4 days after the bacteria enter the body. At this stage, flesh-eating bacterial infections can cause symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In addition, infected body parts will appear reddish, swollen, and appear large dark patches that appear blistered filled with fluid (gangrene).
Critical symptoms appear within 4-5 days after the patient is infected with the bacteria. At this stage, sufferers can experience a drastic drop in blood pressure (shock) due to toxins released by bacteria. If not treated immediately, sufferers can experience decreased consciousness or coma, even die.