-- A new treatment for life-threatening 'flesh eating' disease pioneered by Dr. John Crew can fight the resistant bacteria that turn scratches into deadly infections
DALY CITY, California, July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. John Crew, director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California, today reacted to British Prime Minister David Cameron's warning about the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. "This is indeed a huge and growing problem for all countries," said Dr. Crew. "As the Prime Minister said, without new weapons to fight resistant bacteria, the world could soon be 'cast back into the dark ages of medicine.' A simple scratch would suddenly be deadly."
"But the sliver of good news is that we are creating some important new weapons to fight this problem," Dr. Crew added. "Now we need to make sure these new approaches are more widely used."
One of those weapons is a new treatment that Dr. Crew has developed that has proven its effectiveness against deadly necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease—even when the disease is triggered by bacteria resistant to common antibiotics. As Dr. Crew has reported in journals like WOUNDS, the approach has so far saved the lives and limbs of every patient treated. That's a dramatic improvement from the normal mortality rate of about 20 percent, with surviving victims usually losing feet, legs, hands, arms or other body parts.
Earlier this year, Dr. Crew was nominated for the Lister Legacy Prize, an award presented by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland to recognize worldwide contributions in controlling infections. As part of the award selection process, Dr. Crew presented his breakthrough technique for treating necrotizing fasciitis at the President's Meeting of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on March 21, 2014.
Dr. Crew's innovation was irrigating the spreading wounds of necrotizing fasciitis victims with NeutroPhase, a product from NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY), a California based biopharmaceutical company. NeutroPhase contains a pure stable version of HOCl (hypochlorous solution), which has been proven in laboratory tests to not only kill bacteria (including antibiotic-resistant strains), but also to neutralize the toxins produced by bacteria. As a result, NeutroPhase stops the runaway tissue damage caused by those toxins. "For years, I could only offer emotional support to those struggling with this devastating disease," said Jacqueline Roemmele, founder of the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF). "Now we can offer them real hope."
Because of the success of the treatment, both Dr. Crew and the NNFF are calling on medical associations like the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care and the American Professional Wound Care Association to review the evidence supporting the use of new approaches for these types of infections. It may be that products like NeutroPhase can offer viable alternatives to antibiotics when wounds are infected by resistant bacteria, said Dr. Crew. In addition, he said, "increased use of NeutroPhase, which we don't believe bacteria can evolve resistance to, could also slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes, thus enabling our existing arsenal of drugs to remain effective longer and keeping us from returning to the dark ages of medicine."
John R. Crew, M.D.
1800 Sullivan Avenue, Suite 507
Daly City, CA 94015
Jacqueline A. Roemmele
National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation
SOURCE Dr. John Crew