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Life-threatening Necrotizing Fasciitis Due to 'Bath Salts' Injection.

06:00 EST 11th January 2012 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Life-threatening Necrotizing Fasciitis Due to 'Bath Salts' Injection."

Necrotizing fasciitis is an orthopedic emergency. The ability to quickly and accurately diagnose this rapidly spreading disease can save a patient's life and limb. However, the diagnosis is complex because necrotizing fasciitis usually manifests as a less severe cellulitis or abscess while the majority of the damages rage beneath the surface of the skin. Although the diagnosis is not new, the potential causes and vectors continually change. This article reports a new source of necrotizing fasciitis in an intramuscular injection of "bath salts," a rapidly emerging street drug that is legal in some states and evades authorities with its innocuous name.The patient presented 2 days after injection of bath salts with extensive cellulitis extending to the mid portion of her upper arm. The cellulitis initially responded to broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics, but rapidly deteriorated 48 hours later, leading to a forequarter amputation with radical mastectomy and chest wall debridement to obtain healthy tissue margins and control the disease. The patient made a full recovery after further minor debridements, negative pressure dressings, directed antibiotic therapy, and skin grafting.The recent emerging popularity of this highly obtainable, injectable substance may lead to an increase in cases of necrotizing fasciitis. Orthopedic surgeons should be vigilant in diagnosing this process early and should perform an extensive debridement.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Orthopedics
ISSN: 1938-2367
Pages: e124-7

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Inflammation of the fascia. There are three major types: 1, Eosinophilic fasciitis, an inflammatory reaction with eosinophilia, producing hard thickened skin with an orange-peel configuration suggestive of scleroderma and considered by some a variant of scleroderma; 2, Necrotizing fasciitis (FASCIITIS, NECROTIZING), a serious fulminating infection (usually by a beta hemolytic streptococcus) causing extensive necrosis of superficial fascia; 3, Nodular/Pseudosarcomatous /Proliferative fasciitis, characterized by a rapid growth of fibroblasts with mononuclear inflammatory cells and proliferating capillaries in soft tissue, often the forearm; it is not malignant but is sometimes mistaken for fibrosarcoma.

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