Necrotizing fasciitis: presentation, microbiology and outcomes in a community hospital


  • Mercy N. Jimenez Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Emily S. Seltzer New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York, USA
  • Bhavana Devanabanda St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies
  • Martine Louis Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Nageswara Mandava Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA



Community hospital, Mortality, NF, Polymicrobial, Procedures


Background: Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is an aggressive and often fatal, soft tissue infection. Delayed surgical therapy leads to worsened outcomes. This study evaluates the mortality, outcomes, and characteristics of patients with NF in a diverse New York City Community Hospital Network.

Methods: Retrospective chart review from 2012 to 2019 using ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes of gas gangrene, Fournier’s gangrene, and necrotizing fasciitis was done. Of the 297 patients reviewed 28 met inclusion criteria of imaging findings, operative reports, and clinical diagnosis of NF by an attending surgeon.

Results: On average patients in ER were seen by the surgical team within less than 12 hours. Most patients were debrided within 10 hours of surgical consultation and on average received 2.2 procedures. Of the wound cultures obtained 65.38% were polymicrobial in nature. The average length of stay was 17.4 days and 32% of patients required ICU admission. The surgical mortality rate was 7.61%.

Conclusions: Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare entity and increasing provider knowledge on patient characteristics as well as the complexity of these patients and the types and number of procedures they require may help guide clinical decision making. We identified that while most of our patients had negative blood cultures on admission, those that had positive blood cultures had multiple organisms growing. Knowing that these patients are complex and likely require multiple procedures, prompt operative intervention is key.

Author Biographies

Mercy N. Jimenez, Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA

MD, General Surgery Resident, PGY 4

Department of Surgery

Flushing Hospital Medical Center,

4500 Parsons Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

Emily S. Seltzer, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York, USA


Bhavana Devanabanda, St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies

4th Year Medical Student

Martine Louis, Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA

MD FACS, Director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Department of Surgery

Flushing Hospital Medical Center,

4500 Parsons Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

Nageswara Mandava, Department of Surgery, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA

MD FACS, Chairman of Department of Surgery

Department of Surgery

Flushing Hospital Medical Center,

4500 Parsons Blvd, Queens, NY 11355


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Original Research Articles