Necrotizing fasciitis primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yamuna Kondapally, M.B.B.S[2]

Overview

Effective measures for the primary prevention of necrotizing fasciitis include prevention of trauma/breaks in skin integrity, treatment of underlying infections, hand washing, proper wound care and proper management of underlying co-morbidities.

Primary Prevention

Effective measures for the primary prevention of necrotizing fasciitis include:[1][2]

  • Prevention of trauma/breaks in skin integrity that act as portal of entry
  • Treatment of cellulitis to prevent extension into the subcutaneous tissue
  • Immunization against varicella zoster virus (in adults and children)
  • Hand washing with soap and water or use of alcohol-based hand rub if washing is not possible especially after coughing, sneezing and before preparing food or eating to prevent the spread of group A streptococcal (GAS) infection
  • Wounds should be cleaned and monitored for signs of infection
  • Patients with strep throat should stay home until 24 hours after their last antibiotic dose
  • Avoid spending time in whirlpools, hot tubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water (like lakes, rivers, oceans) until infections are healed
  • Do not delay first aid of wounds like blisters, scrapes, or any break in the skin
  • All contacts should be counselled about the signs and symptoms of infection and advised to go immediately to an emergency department for prompt treatment
  • Patients with underlying co-morbidities should watch carefully for any signs of infection

References

  1. CDC http://www.cdc.gov/features/necrotizingfasciitis/ (2016) Accessed on September 12, 2016
  2. Taviloglu K, Yanar H (2007). "Necrotizing fasciitis: strategies for diagnosis and management". World J Emerg Surg. 2: 19. doi:10.1186/1749-7922-2-19. PMC 1988793. PMID 17683625.

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