Gangrene is a severe infection that involved the skin and the tissues underneath it. It occurs when there has been extensive tissue damage, leading to death of tissue, which then become infected. It is most common after traumatic injuries. The most common sites are toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands and arms. Abdominal organs are the most dangerous areas. There are two types, dry gangrene and wet gangrene. Dry gangrene has no bacterial infection, while wet gangrene does. Gas gangrene pertains to a form of wet gangrene.
Causes of Gangrene
Gangrene occurs when there is extensive tissue death. This often occurs primarily or secondarily to compromised blood circulation. It can be completely obstructed or severely reduced. Trauma is the most common cause of this disorder. It is seen with severe crush injuries, in which tissue is mutilated and destroyed. Deep puncture wounds, surgery and lacerations can be complicated by infections that produce gangrene, usually involving the bacteria, Clostridium perfringens. There can be occlusion of the blood vessels from clots or from atheroslerosis. Prolonged frostbite will result in gangrene and extensive tissue death
Signs and Symptoms of Gangrene
Gangrene leads to the development of black skin with dead underlying muscle and bone,. The skin is firm and sounds are heard when it is displaced or bent. There may be the sensation of air bubbles underneath the skin. Swelling, pain and eventual loss of sensation occur in the severely damaged tissues. As the tissue decays, there may be ulceration and discharge from the tissue that is rancid. Temperature may increase, if the tissues become infected and spread to the rest of the body.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.