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Necrotizing soft tissue lesions after a volcanic cataclysm.

Authors
  • Patiño, J F
  • Castro, D
  • Valencia, A
  • Morales, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
World journal of surgery
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1991
Volume
15
Issue
2
Pages
240–247
Identifiers
PMID: 2031361
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A volcanic cataclysm of major proportions, the fourth largest in terms of total casualties in the history of mankind, wiped out the town of Armero, Colombia, in 1985 resulting in over 23,000 deaths and 4,500 wounded. Among the hundreds of survivors who were transferred to hospitals in the capital city of Bogotá, there was as overwhelming number who developed necrotizing fasciitis. These patients constitute, perhaps, the single largest group of this type of lesions in the recorded literature. Thirty-eight patients with well established necrotizing fasciitis were identified at 4 selected hospitals in Bogotá; 8 of them presented with zygomycetic infection (mucormycosis), a highly lethal entity. Many additional cases were treated at other hospitals in Bogotá and several cities in Colombia. The main clinical features of these 38 patients affected by necrotizing fasciitis are reviewed, with special emphasis on the patients with mucormycosis. Patients with necrotizing fasciitis had an overall mortality rate of 47.7%; patients with mucormycosis, 80%. A plea is made for an early diagnosis, utilizing tissue sampling and microbiological studies, so that prompt and radical treatment can be instituted. This is especially pertinent in situations of natural disasters resulting in massive numbers of casualties and seriously injured survivors.

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