Nursing Home Patients Taking Diabetic Medication Must Be Monitored For Fournier's Gangrene

Diabetes Drug Infection Lawsuit News

Quick action by educated, trained nursing home staff can save a diabetic patient from the genital flesh-eating disease

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - When researching for news about necrotizing fasciitis of the genitals, a.k.a. Fournier's Gangrene there is a link between the elderly under nursing home care and the anti-diabetes drugs that are suspected to be the root cause of the disease. Anti-diabetic drugs called sodium-glucose blockers, taken by diabetic patients that do not wish to inject themselves with insulin daily, such as the popular Invokana, are to be carefully monitored for the early warning signs of the rare yet potentially fatal form of necrotizing fasciitis, such as genital redness, hotness to the touch, and swelling.

Elderly diabetic nursing home patients need special care to avoid the flesh-eating disease. The majority of diabetic patients are senior citizens and many are under the care of nursing homes. Nursing home staffs around the country are urged to pay special attention to their patients that are taking diabetic medications, especially Invokana patients and to make sure the patient keeps the genital area clean and dry. Diabetes drug patients that are placed on penile catheters must be attended regularly and their equipment changed frequently.

Christian wrote of Florida nursing home patient, retired military veteran York Spratling who died when his genital necrotizing fasciitis was left untreated forcing the amputation of his penis and scrotum and death. "Spratling's family said he suffered from diabetes but remained active in his later years, although they never expected his health to decline so quickly. 'Everything was about to fall off, it was so rotten,' said Spratling's brother, Obie."

The flesh-eating disease can enter the genital area through any break in the skin caused by medical equipment, STD flare-up, or rashes due to failing to adequately wash and dry the genitals. Diabetic drugs are believed to weaken the immune system allowing the flesh-eating disease to take hold and quickly spread. Identifying the disease is the first and most important element to treat Fournier's Gangrene in nursing home patients, and emergency medical help must be immediately sought. Once in the hospital, the patient will be put on broad-spectrum antibiotics and could face surgical debridement of any dead tissues.

SGLT-2 drugs like Invokana used to treat type 2 diabetes, are as of August 2018, required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn patients that the drug has been linked to the genital flesh-eating disease Fournier's Gangrene. In May of 2018, the FDA identified 55 cases of Fournier's Gangrene and all the victims were taking SGLT2 drugs. In 1883 Jean-Alfred Fournier first identified Fournier gangrene (FG), but even today most doctors are unaware of its existence. Fournier's Gangrene is necrotizing fasciitis of the genitals and perineum, the area of the body between the anus and scrotum in males and anus and vulva in females. Diabetic patients must be closely monitored particularly the elderly. Necrotizing fasciitis can spread in a matter of days, and the failure of medical nursing home staff to identify the symptoms of the disease could cause doctors to be unable to properly treat the disease.

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Lawyers for Fournier's Gangrene

OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.