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Treatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis of The Head and Neck Using NegativePressure Wound Therapy

Treatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis of The Head and Neck Using Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Aug 2018, Chen Shu-Jun, et. Al, JOMFS

Summarized by: Joe Masselli

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rapidly spreading and deadly infection of the deep muscle tissue and fascia characterized by polymicrobial exotoxin-mediated destruction. These infections present subtly as small tissue lesions at the wound site. The microbes can be introduced by a penetrating object seeding preexisting skin bacteria into the wound or by carrying the bacteria in on its surface. The wound does not look unlike a simple cut or scrape with the exception of extreme pain upon palpation. The traditional treatment for Necrotizing fasciitis is immediate and radical surgical debridement of the involved soft tissue to prevent further spread. In this article, Dr. Chen and colleagues investigated the use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in the treatment of necrotizing fasciitis of the head and neck. Negative pressure wound therapy involves applying a vacuum device in addition to a sponge or gauze dressing to the wound site. This is followed by irrigation with sodium chloride solution and placement of a membrane. The idea of the technique is to remove fluid and gross debris that will prevent successful wound healing. The authors found that NPWT of the head and neck hastened the recovery of the seven subjects to an average of 17.3 days and showed increased granulation formation compared to subjects that were not treated with negative pressure. These results could point to improved outcomes to patients suffering from this deadly condition.

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