(Dry Gangrene; Gas Gangrene; Organ or Tissue Death; Wet Gangrene)
DefinitionGangrene is the progressive death of body tissue resulting from a lack of blood supply. When the blood supply is cut off, the tissue does not get enough oxygen and begins to die.Gangrene can be internal or external. The two most common types of gangrene are:
- Dry gangrene—Lack of blood supply causes the tissue to die.
- Wet gangrene—Usually occurs when the tissue is infected with bacteria from an injury. The tissue becomes moist and breaks down.
CausesGangrene is caused by infection or a reduced blood supply to tissues.
Risk FactorsGangrene is more common in older adults. Factors that may increase your chance of developing gangrene include:
- Poorly controlled health conditions, such as diabetes or atherosclerosis , which may affect blood vessels
- Health conditions or medications that suppress the immune system
- Perforated bowel
- Severe trauma
- Excessive alcohol use
- IV drug use
SymptomsExternal gangrene may cause:
- Color changes, ranging from white, to red, to black
- Shiny appearance to skin
- Foul-smelling, frothy, clear, or watery discharge
- Shedding off of skin
- Severe pain followed by loss of feeling in the affected area
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lightheadedness or fainting, which may be caused by low blood pressure
|Gangrene of the Foot|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
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