Necrotizing fasciitis: a fatal outcome following minor trauma. Case report and literature review

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1989 Sep;10(3):239-41. doi: 10.1097/00000433-198909000-00015.


The death of a young healthy man, 11 days after he sustained minor trauma, illustrates the potential disaster of undiagnosed necrotizing fasciitis. Difficulty in early diagnosis often arises because the skin is initially spared and only later becomes secondarily involved. In this case, because of the lack of external manifestations, the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis was not considered until the postmortem examination. Necrotizing fasciitis should be considered a potentially serious problem that can follow minor trauma and eventually lead to death. The need for a high index of suspicion to make this diagnosis, along with the medicolegal implication of a diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis, are both addressed in this report. Also of note is the fact that this patient was treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for pain and inflammation, which has recently been reported to be associated with an increased incidence of fulminant evolution of necrotizing fasciitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fasciitis / complications
  • Fasciitis / diagnosis*
  • Fasciitis / etiology
  • Hip Injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocarditis / etiology
  • Necrosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*