Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day
annually on May 31st (since 2017)
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in 2017
Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day was declared by Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan in 2017, and has since been declared by multiple other states. Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare, serious disease, that stems from an infection caused by bacteria. It usually begins when bacteria enters wounds but can start after a muscle strain or bruise, and in rare circumstances, can be transmitted from person to person. It can quickly destroy skin, fat, and tissue covering muscle, and if not interrupted, can lead to organ failure and death. One out of every four people that get the disease end up losing their lives.
Since it moves so quickly, early treatment is critical. Surgery is usually needed and is used to remove infected tissue and fluids. If it gets to a more severe stage, limb amputations or the removal of organs may be necessary to save a person's life. Medicines to kill the bacteria and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are also commonly used to treat the disease.
Those who are in good health can get the disease, but the risk is higher for those with a weak immune system; or for those with chronic health problems, cuts on their skin, or surgical wounds; those who recently got over viral infections that cause a rash; or those who use steroid medicines. It can't start unless there already is an infection, so working to prevent an infection or treat an infection is the best way to prevent the disease, meaning that handwashing and good hygiene is a must. Surgeons and physicians should make sure to use sterile equipment and careful surgical techniques to prevent infection as well.
How to Observe Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day
Observe the day by learning about necrotizing fasciitis, so that you can work to prevent yourself from getting it, and educate others about it. You could also support the Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation, a group that helps survivors of the disease and educates the public.