(Dry Gangrene; Gas Gangrene; Organ or Tissue Death; Wet Gangrene)
DefinitionGangrene is the progressive death of body tissue resulting from infection and 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 2 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.Other factors that may increase your chance of 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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