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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Necrotizing Fasciitis in the News

Published May 22, 2012 11:20 AM by Pam Tarapchak
Necrotizing fasciitis has been making the news headlines lately - a lot. For something that has been touted as a rare bacterial infection, it seems to be getting around. Perhaps its recent attention stems from the media feeding on the condition's horrible symptoms and its identity as the "flesh-eating bacteria." Or is necrotizing fasciitis more common than it used to be?

In Georgia, 24-year-old Aimee Copeland has lost both hands and feet to the bacterial infection; however, she's now breathing on her own. Copeland suffered injuries from a zip-lining accident. In South Carolina, Lana Kuykendall gave birth to twins  May 7, but then noticed a large bruise on her leg and later found out she had necrotizing fasciitis as well. She's had seven surgeries and still remains hospitalized fighting the condition. And, in the same Georgia hospital as Copeland, a third patient, Bobby Vaughn, faces his sixth surgery to stop the same bacterial infection after a suffering a cut on his side.

Are all these incidents of necrotizing fasciitis coincidental? Just blown out of proportion because of their similar timelines and patient locations? Or is something more going on here? How often do you see necrotizing fasciitis at your facility? Share your thoughts.

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