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Necrotising fasciitis complicating hand, foot and mouth disease


A literature search confirmed no previous cases of necrotising fasciitis (NF) complicating hand,foot and mouth disease (HFMD). This report explores the case of a previously well 55-week-old Caucasian boy who attended accident and emergency with an acutely swollen right hand and atypical viral rash affecting the hands and face. He was admitted under plastic surgery and treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluid resuscitation for sepsis secondary to cellulitis. Following dermatological review of the rash, a clinical diagnosis of atypical HFMD was made. He deteriorated over the first 12 hours with progression of cellulitis despite intervention. Emergency exploration and debridement were performed for suspected NF. NF was subsequently confirmed by laboratory testing. He required 5 days in paediatric intensive care but made a full recovery. Recent reports highlight an increase in atypical cases of HFMD. Clinicians should be aware of the potential for superadded necrotising infection in cases of atypical HFMD.

  • dermatology
  • paediatrics
  • public health
  • plastic and reconstructive surgery
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