Massive Skin Necrosis In Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

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The occurrence of massive skin necrosis of approximately 50% of the body surface area in an 8-year-old girl with Rocky Mountain spotted fever is reported. Although the surgeon will not often be confronted with the management of Rocky Mountain spotted fever or its complications, certain therapeutic corollaries can be outlined, based upon the observed similarity between this particular complication of severe skin loss and the syndrome of purpura fulminans: (1) heparinization for the consumptive coagulopathy and disseminated intravascular clotting; (2) correction of hypovolemia and hypoproteinemia; (3) decompression by escharotomy and/or fasciotomy if indicated; (4) topical chemotherapeutic coverage of necrotic skin; (5) full-thickness eschar excision combined with biologic dressings directed toward autograft wound closure; and (6) appropriate extremity splinting and physiotherapy.

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