Sunday, June 25, 2006
Conservative management of necrotizing fascitis in children.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, King George Medical University, Lucknow-226 003, India. email@example.com
Necrotizing fascitis (NF) is a severe infection of the subcutaneous tissue and fascia affecting children and adults. Conventional management includes resuscitation, aggressive debridement of necrotic tissue, and sometimes, additional measures such as hyperbaric oxygen and immunoglobulin therapy. This paper reports conservative management of 18 patients with NF with minimal morbidity and mortality.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Patients with NF admitted to our department between January 2000 and February 2004 were included in the study (N = 18). In all cases, the presentation was rapidly progressing cellulitis progressing to cutaneous gangrene between 6 and 18 hours. The patients were managed by aggressive fluid resuscitation, analgesia, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and dressing with liberal quantities of povidone iodine ointment. After separation of the gangrenous skin margins from the surrounding healthy tissue between 24 and 72 hours, dead skin and fascia were removed with forceps on the ward, the wound washed with liberal quantities of water, and the ointment dressing reapplied. This procedure was repeated until all the dead tissue had been removed. Once the wound was granulating, dressings were changed at increasing intervals until healing took place by secondary intention.
The patients were aged between 5 days and 11 years. In all, NF began as a small boil progressing to a rapidly spreading cellulitis. None of the patients was operated during the acute stage of the infection. Blackening of the skin and separation of the edges occurred within 8-72 hours, the dead tissue was allowed to separate from the granulating base and could be removed at the bedside with minimal blood loss. Blood transfusion was required only in 2 patients where hemoglobin was <>
We conclude that the conservative management of NF offers advantages in morbidity without compromising the outcome. In our hospital setup, conservative treatment was less expensive and easily carried out. We would therefore advocate conservative management for the treatment of this condition.
PMID: 16769350 [PubMed - in process]