The History of Necrotizing Fasciitis
Necrotizing fasciitis is part of a spectrum of soft-tissue infections first described by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C as a complication of "erysipelas". Then during the Civil War, Confederate Army surgeon Joseph Jones described this infection as "hospital gangrene" during which 46% of the 2,642 soldiers afflicted died from its complications (A Brief History of Necrotizing Fasciitis).
The theory that this condition was caused by a bacteria of some sort was proved by U.S. surgeon Frank L. Meleney published a paper on the topic. In this paper, he asserted that 20 patients he examined in China were afflicted with necrotizing fasciitis caused by hemolyric streptococcus (The History of Necrotizing Fasciitis).
The term was first coined by Dr. B. Wilson in 1952. This term is still used in modern medicine, and is considered to be the most accurate and concise description. Other terms that have been used included streptococcal gangrene, hospital gangrene, necrotizing erysipelas, and supparative fasciitis (The History of Necrotizing Fasciitis).