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Diagnosis of Necrotizing Fasciitis with Bedside Ultrasound: the STAFF Exam

  • Author(s): Castleberg, Erik
  • Jenson, Natasa
  • Dinh, Vi Am
  • et al.
Abstract

The early diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis is often ambiguous. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, while sensitive and specific modalities, are often time consuming or unavailable. We present a case of necrotizing fasciitis that was rapidly diagnosed using bedside ultrasound evaluating for subcutaneous thickening, air, and fascial fluid (STAFF). We propose the STAFF ultrasound exam may be beneficial in the rapid evaluation of unstable patients with consideration of necrotizing fasciitis, in a similar fashion to the current use of a focused assessment with sonography for trauma exam in the setting of trauma. [West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(1):111–113.]

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