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Necrotising fasciitis in the COVID-19 era: A consequence of caution – A case series

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posted on 2023-03-10, 11:19 authored by Gerard Feeney, Enda Hannan, John Fallon, Eimear Curran, Helen Meagher, Jean Sheehan, JOHN CALVIN COFFEYJOHN CALVIN COFFEY, Eamon G. Kavanagh

Necrotising fasciitis (NF) is a severe soft tissue infection that is associated with a high risk of morbidity and  mortality. During the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, the population has been actively discouraged from presenting to emergency medical services unless absolutely necessary. While this was an important  step in allowing for preservation of limited resources in a time of crisis, it may have resulted in immeasurable  ‘secondary victims’ of the pandemic as patients with time-critical conditions delay hospital presentation. In this  case series, we describe three patients that noted symptoms of soft tissue infection, but delayed seeking  healthcare advice due to concerns regarding COVID-19 exposure. All three progressed to NF, requiring highly  morbid wide surgical debridement and prolonged hospital admission, with a high risk of potential mortality. The  findings of this series demonstrate the importance of consistently delivering appropriate and timely healthcare  interventions to patients with non-COVID-19-related conditions. While efforts must be made to ensure preservation of valuable healthcare resources in a global pandemic, patients must also be empowered to seek timely  care for non-COVID-19-related conditions even in this time of crisis. 

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Publication

International Journal of Surgery Open 43, 100488

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Elsevier

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  • School of Medicine

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