Necrotising fasciitis in the COVID-19 era: A consequence of caution – A case series
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.
PublicationInternational Journal of Surgery Open 43, 100488
Department or School
- School of Medicine