Treatments for patients diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria, also known as necrotizing fasciitis, include intravenous antibiotic therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin to fight infection, blood transfusions, blood pressure medications and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, states WebMD. Surgery to remove dead or damaged tissue may be necessary, and in extreme cases, amputation may become necessary.
Early detection of necrotizing fascilitis is critical because the bacteria advances so rapidly, explains WebMD. Introductory symptoms resemble less serious infection, influenza or common post-surgical laments, such as nausea, inflammation, fever and severe pain, so a timely diagnosis may prove difficult. Treatment begins before identification of the bacteria's presence. An advanced symptom is the appearance of gas bubbles beneath the skin.
Necrotizing fasciitis results in the death of connective tissues that surrounds muscles, blood vessels and nerves and may result from different initial types of bacterial skin infections, reports MedicineNet. It is often connected with blood poisoning and organ failure. Supportive treatment measures may also be necessary, including intravenous administration of fluids, insertion of a breathing tube, and drugs to support the cardiovascular system. Individuals with suppressed immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, diabetics, alcoholics and cancer victims undergoing chemotherapy, are at greater risk. The prognosis ranges from fair to poor, depending on the timing of a diagnosis and individual response to specific treatments.