• Vol. 35 No. 4, 270–273
  • 15 April 2006

Necrotising Fasciitis and Traditional Medical Therapy – A Dangerous Liaison



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Introduction: Necrotising fasciitis is a disease associated with high morbidity and mortality, and multi-focal necrotising fasciitis is uncommon. We present 2 cases of concurrent necrotising fasciitis of contralateral upper and lower limbs.

Clinical Picture: Both presented with pain, swelling, bruising or necrosis of the affected extremities. Traditional medical therapy was sought prior to their presentation.

Treatment: After initial debridement, one patient subsequently underwent amputation of the contralateral forearm and leg. The other underwent a forearm amputation, but refused a below-knee amputation.

Outcome: The first patient survived, while the second died.

Conclusion: Traditional medical therapy can cause bacterial inoculation, leading to necrotising fasciitis, and also leads to delay in appropriate treatment. Radical surgery is needed to optimise patient survival.

The first case was a 54-year-old lady, with a history of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidaemia, who presented with bilateral hand pain and stiffness of 4 days’ duration.

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