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(Dry Gangrene; Gas Gangrene; Organ or Tissue Death; Wet Gangrene)
- 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.
- 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
- Focal or diffuse pain
|Gangrene of the Foot|
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- Blood tests
- Tests of the discharge and the tissue
- IV antibiotics—to treat infection
- Debridement—surgical procedure to cut away dead and dying tissue, done to try to avoid gangrene from spreading
- Supportive care, including fluids, nutrients, and pain medication to relieve discomfort
- Blood thinners—given to prevent blood clots
- Surgery may also be done to restore blood flow to the affected area
- Amputation—removal of severely affected body part
- Hyperbaric oxygen treatment—exposing the affected tissue to oxygen at high pressure may have some benefit
- If you have chronic health conditions, follow the treatment plan outlined by your doctor.
- If you have diabetes, inspect your feet every day for cuts, sores, or wounds.
- Care for any cuts, sores, or wounds promptly to avoid infection.
- If you need surgery, ask your doctor about taking antibiotics. This is especially true if you need intestinal surgery.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Review Date: 08/2017
- Update Date: 09/29/2014