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glossary:gangrene

Gangrene:

(1) Necrosis and death of tissue generally either from infections, venous insufficiency, severe injury. Gangrene is the death and decay of tissue that usually occurs when the blood supply to the tissue is cut off by injury or infection. After the tissue is dead, bacteria may infect the tissue and cause decay.

Gangrene may affect small areas, such as fingers or toes that have been frostbitten, or larger areas of tissue, such as part of the foot. People who have impaired blood flow, such as people with diabetes, may be at higher risk of gangrene if they have skin wounds and infections that are not treated promptly.

Gangrene is treated by restoring blood flow to the affected area, treating any infection, and removing the dead and dying tissue. If it is severe, gangrene sometimes requires that a part of the body, such as a finger, toe, or foot, be amputated.

(2) The death of body tissue due to the loss of blood supply to that tissue, sometimes permitting bacteria to invade it and accelerate its decay.

The word “gangrene” comes from the Greek “ganggraina” denoting “an eating sore that ends in mortification” (of the flesh).

Gas gangrene involves the invasion of a deep penetrating wound (in which the blood supply is compromised) by anaerobic organisms (bacteria that can survive with little or no oxygen) such as members of Clostridium family of bacteria. The bacteria generate gas and pus. Gas gangrene is an acute, painful, dangerous condition.

Dry gangrene is the death of tissue due to vascular insufficiency without bacterial invasion. The tissue simply dries up and shrivels.

(3) Gangrene is devided in four Types. Premary is Dry gangrene. If the blood flow is interrupted for a reason other than severe bacterial infection, the result is a dry gangrene. The early signs of dry gangrene are a dull ache and sensation of coldness in the area, along with pallor of the flesh. If caught early, the process can sometimes be reversed by vascular surgery. Second is Internal gangrene it section is a stub.In this gangrene the tissues become white. It is located inside the body, usually after surgery or trauma. Also called “white gangrene”.Third is Wet gangrene like in dry gangrene, the blood flow is interrupted, but there is also a bacterial infection. Due to liquefactive necrosis, liquid is released and last is Gas gangrene. Gas gangrene is a bacterial infection that produces gas within tissues in gangrene. It is a deadly form of gangrene usually caused by Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Treatment is usually surgical debridement and excision with amputation necessary in many cases. Antibiotics alone are not effective because they do not penetrate ischemic muscles sufficiently. However, penicillin is given as an adjuvant treatment to surgery.

Causes of Gas Gangrene

1.Clostridium perfringens(bacteria ).

2.Atherosclerosis

3.Surgery

4.Trauma

5.Gastrointestinal malignancy

6.Hypoalbuminemia

7.Chronic alcoholism

8.Diabetes

Symptoms of Gas Gangrene

1.Moderate to severe pain around a skin injury

2.Progressive swelling around a skin injury

3.Moderate to high fever

4.Sweating

5.Increased heart rate (tachycardia)

See also:

Moist gangrene

Dry gangrene

See these pages:

* Infections Associated with Lymphedema

* Lymphedema Complications Cellulitis, Lymphangitis, infections

glossary/gangrene.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)