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Hospital epidemiology of emergent cervical necrotizing fasciitis

Author(s): Shaikh Nissar | Ummunissa Firdous | Hanssen Yolande | Al Makki Hussam | Shokr Hamdy

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 123;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Cervical | diabetes mellitus | fresh frozen plasma | necrotizing fasciitis | packed red blood cells

Background : Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a surgical emergency. It is a rapidly progressing infection of the fascia and subcutaneous tissue and could be fatal if not diagnosed early and treated properly. NF is common in the groin, abdomen, and extremities but rare in the neck and the head. Cervical necrotizing fasciitis (CNF) is an aggressive infection of the neck and the head, with devastating complications such as airway obstruction, pneumonia, pulmonary abscess, jugular venous thrombophlebitis, mediastinitis, and septic shock associated with high mortality. Aim : To assess the presentation, comorbidities, type of infection, severity of disease, and intensive care outcome of CNF. Methods : Medical records of the patients treated for NF in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) from January 1995 to February 2005 were reviewed retrospectively. Results : Out of 94 patients with NF, 5 (5.3%) had CNF. Four patients were male. The mean age of our patients was 41.2 ± 14.8 years. Sixty percent of patients had an operative procedure as the predisposing factor and 80% of patients received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The only comorbidity associated was diabetes mellitus (DM) in 3 patients (60%). Sixty percent of the cases had type1 NF. Mean sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score on admission to the ICU was 8.8 ± 3.6. All patients had undergone debridement at least two times. During the initial 24 h our patients received 5.8 ± 3.0 l of fluid, 2.0 ± 1.4 units of packed red blood cells (PRBC), 4.8 ± 3.6 units of fresh frozen plasma (FFP), and 3.0 ± 4.5 units of platelet concentrate. The mean number of days patients were intubated was 5.2 ± 5.1 days and the mean ICU stay was 6.4 ± 5.2 days. Sixty percent of cases had multiorgan dysfunction (MODS) and one patient died, resulting in a mortality rate of 20%. Conclusion : According to our study, CNF represents around 5% of NF patients. CNF was higher among male patients and in patients with history NSAIDs and dental surgeries. Type 1 NF was more common and DM was the only comorbid condition seen in this limited number of patients. The low mortality may be due to the early diagnosis and aggressive surgical treatment combined with optimal supportive intensive care management.
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