Necrotising Fasciitis. Flesh-eating Bacteria. It is some serious shit, and sci-fi writer (and Biology PhD) Peter Watts was unfortunate enough to contract it after a skin biopsy at a hospital in Toronto. He’s documenting the ordeal over on his site – there you can see photos of his unobscured wound, with muscle and all exposed to the world (warning: they’re super gross) -but for our purposes, this shot of his plugged-up leg-canyon will suffice. Here, he says, is how they’re treating it:
Now we get to the high-tech stuff. My leg was open and oozing and stuffed full of paper towels only for a couple of weeks, but the other day they brought in this VAC system. You start by jamming various bits of white and black foam into the hole (it comes all sterile and shrink-wrapped and whatnot like it’s this magical elven healing-foam, but actually I think they get it from the same guys who make that foam rubber padding you find in boxes containing home electronics).