Necrotizing Fasciitis

Flesh-eating Bacteria

What is Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Necrotizing Fasciitis is a bacterial skin infection. It kills the soft tissue of the body. Can be life threatening if not treated. Very rare with less than 20,000 cases per year in the United States.

History of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Since 1883, there have been over 500 cases of necrotizing fasciitis recorded in literature. It was first described by Confederate Army surgeon, Joseph Jones, during the US Civil War.

What causes Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Flesh-eating disease occurs when bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin. People with a weakened immune system can be at greater risk of developing this condition. Can occur as a complication of a surgical procedure.


  • fever, chills, fatigue, or low blood pressure
  • skin discoloration, redness, blister, or crackling sensation under the skin
  • swelling, kidney failure, nausea, or pus
  • pain worse than expected with wound


  • Antibiotics
  • Surgery to remove dead or infected tissue

Necrotizing Fasciitis Research

In 2010, a team of scientists and surgeons from the Legacy Emanuel Shock Trauma Center in Portland, Oregon, wrote a collective review on the diagnosis and treatment of necrotizing fasciitis.

In 2011, Drs Rausch and Foca wrote an exciting report focusing on necrotizing fasciitis in a pediatric patient. At the end of the report, the authors pointed out that all pediatricians must be aware of the possibility of severe infections in pediatric patients with necrotizing fasciitis who had vascular lymphatic malformations.

In 2012, a team of scientists and surgeons from Turkey wrote a comprehensive collective review on necrotizing fasciitis. At the end of their report, they emphasize that early diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis may be life saving.

At the Imperial College in London, United Kingdom, 5 scholars wrote a comprehensive 5-year review of necrotizing fasciitis. They emphasize that necrotizing fasciitis is a life-threatening disease that is often difficult to diagnose. The authors guide the readers to make the correct diagnosis as soon as possible in order to save lives.