Phylogenetic Tree
Habitat and Diseases
Dr. Volk's Case


Aggressive combination regime of antibiotics

  • Cefazolin
  • Clindamycin
  • Gentamycin
  • Penicillin
  • Metronidazole

Surgical debridement

  •   This is the cutting away of dead or infected tissue, or the removal of foreign matter from the flesh.  Doctors make an incision for drainage and for the removal of all infected necrotic tissue and fascia.  This continues until there is a clean, healthy, pearly grey fascia identified in all areas of the wound.  If caught early enough, a minimal loss of tissue can be achieved.

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber

  • The goal is to increase the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood.  This enables the wounds to heal better by reducing swelling due to vasoconstriction of the arterioles and hypoxia.  This also strengthens the white blood cells so they can better fight the invading bacteria.

In the healing process, the caloric intake of patients can be increased twofold or even threefold.

Incidence and Fatality

  • A 1996 CDC (Centre for Disease Control) report estimated there are 500 to 1,500 cases per year of necrotizing fasciitis, of which 20% result in death.

  • In the United States in 2003, approximately 1,190 invasive infections were reported. The incidence is probably much higher as passive reporting underestimates the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that approximately 11,000 cases of invasive infections and 1,700 deaths occurred nationally during 2003 (Stevens).

Good thing Dr. Volk was in the 80% survival rate!

Information on this page is from "Streptococcus Pyogenes - Killer Flesh-eating Bacteria." ( and Stevens, Dr. Dennis L (