What are risk factors for necrotizing fasciitis?

Updated: Sep 02, 2020
  • Author: Steven A Schulz, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Surgical procedures may cause local tissue injury and bacterial invasion, resulting in necrotizing fasciitis. These procedures include surgery for intraperitoneal infections and drainage of ischiorectal and perianal abscesses. Intramuscular injections and intravenous infusions may lead to necrotizing fasciitis.

Minor insect bites may set the stage for necrotizing infections. Streptococci introduced into the wounds may be prominent initially, but the bacteriologic pattern changes with hypoxia-induced proliferation of anaerobes.

Local ischemia and hypoxia can occur in patients with systemic illnesses (eg, diabetes). Host defenses can be compromised by underlying systemic diseases favoring the development of these infections. Illnesses such as diabetes or cancer have been described in over 90% of cases of progressive bacterial gangrene.

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