Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Fall 2014

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection, Flesh Eating Bacteria, Infectious Diseases

Subject Categories

Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Medical Pathology | Nursing | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Necrotizing fasciitis also known as necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTIs) is a rare life-threatening infection that involves the skin and soft tissue. A rapid and accurate diagnosis of NSTIs must be identified by healthcare providers to diminish morbidity and mortality. NSTIs are characterized by progressive necrosis of subcutaneous tissue and fascia involving large areas of tissue (Lin, Chang, Lai, Lin, & Chen, 2013). Hippocrates (500 BC) described necrotizing fasciitis as “diffuse erysipelas caused by trivial accidents [where] flesh, sinews, and bones fell away in large quantities, [leading to] death in many cases” (Lancerotto, Tocco, Salmaso, Vindigni & Bassetto, 2012). In recent years the bacteria which causes this infection has been described by the media as “flesh eating”, a term that remains synonymous with necrotizing fasciitis.



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