Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flesh-eating Bacteria: Blood Tests Can Help Detect Presence Of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections

Date:
December 5, 2008
Source:
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)
Summary:
A quick surgical reaction to 'flesh-eating bacteria' reduces mortality. With less than half of patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections displaying the physical signs of these very serious infections, researchers have found two simple blood tests can help physicians diagnose what is commonly known as "flesh-eating bacteria."

With less than half of patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections displaying the physical signs of these very serious infections, researchers have found two simple blood tests can help physicians diagnose what is commonly known as "flesh-eating bacteria," according to a study in the December issue of The American Journal of Surgery.

Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) found only 43 percent of the patients admitted to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center's emergency department with necrotizing soft tissue infections had obvious signs of the infections: purplish-colored skin and gas bubbles beneath the skin.

In those patients who didn't display these obvious signs, blood tests that found a high white blood cell count or a low serum sodium level helped physicians determine the patients who had necrotizing soft tissue infections.

"These simple tests are helpful in excluding the possibility of necrotizing soft tissue infection," said LA BioMed researcher Christian de Virgilio, M.D., the corresponding author of the study. "Determining whether someone has a necrotizing soft tissue infection is important because acting quickly to treat these infections increases the survival chances for the patient."

Necrotizing soft tissue infections are rare and rapidly progressing processes that can lead to reported mortality rates as high as 73 percent. Previous studies have found the best treatment is prompt surgical intervention, yet the diagnosis remains challenging. This can delay diagnosis and potentially life-saving surgical intervention.

The researchers studied 21 patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections who were admitted to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a large county public teaching hospital, from July 2006 to November 2007. Nine of the 21 patients had obvious signs of the infection. Blood tests found all 21 patients had either high white blood cell counts or low serum sodium levels.

"This study should alert clinicians to the fact that necrotizing soft tissue infections can be difficult to diagnose and to the value of blood tests in helping to rule out this very serious infection," said Dr. de Virgilio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). "Flesh-eating Bacteria: Blood Tests Can Help Detect Presence Of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204074446.htm>.
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). (2008, December 5). Flesh-eating Bacteria: Blood Tests Can Help Detect Presence Of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204074446.htm
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). "Flesh-eating Bacteria: Blood Tests Can Help Detect Presence Of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204074446.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins