In medical terms, “Gangrene” is described as death of particular organ or area of the body when blood supply is totally blocked. Gangrene may occur in any part of the body but it is found more commonly in fingers, toes, feet and hands.

Dry gangrene is a case, when the area gets insufficient blood supply and the underlying tissues turn black and cold. It is common for people who have arteriosclerosis and diabetic patients and people with high cholesterol level are more prone to get dry gangrene than others.

Wet gangrene is formed when any infection is left untreated. The area develops swelling and subsequently stops the blood flow. This in turn give room for bacterial infection.

Causes :

Gangrene is not caused suddenly, but it is followed by severe infection or injury. If a person has severe trauma or severe burn injury and if the wound is not healed properly, it may develop into gangrene. People with diabetics’ mellitus and Raynaud’s disease have increased risk of getting gangrene. Disease and problems with arteries can also cause gangrene. Similarly, people with weakened immunity (HIV or Aids) have more chance of getting gangrene.

Symptoms :

The affected part of the body becomes cold and numb. You can notice change in normal skin color and the area becomes purple or red initially which in turn takes deep brown color or black. There will not be any sensation in the affected area. In some people, the affected part becomes swollen and painful. There may or may not be pain. Occasionally there may be pus formation with liquid discharge. In case of gas gangrene, the person may get fever, rapid heartbeat, and intense pain in the affected part.

Diagnoses :

Apart from physical examination, your doctor will ask for history of illness to detect gangrene. He may ask you if you are diabetic or smoke frequently. Blood test, X-ray, and sample collection is done to confirm the presence of gangrene. For collecting more information, CT scan or MRI scan is done to assess the exact damage to the organ.

Treatment :

If you are detected for gangrene, you may require urgent medical care. Sometimes, hospitalization is necessary for taking treatment. Medicines are given to restore the blood-flow in the affected part. Antibiotics, anticoagulants, and pain relievers are given to resume blood flow. Surgical debridement is done if the infection is severe. In rare cases, if the infection spreads to other parts, amputation of the part is done for preventing further damage.

Hyperbaric oxygen is given to the patient for healing the wound and infection, but one has to monitor the symptoms and follow-up consultation for avoiding surgery.

Pictures of Gangrene :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Gangrene

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Prevention :

Gangrene can easily be prevented by taking little care and hygiene. If you have any symptoms of pus like discharge or swelling with pain, visit the nearest clinic immediately. Monitor any symptoms of infection from wounds. Keep the wounds clean by applying antiseptic ointment. Treat the wounds quickly to avoid getting infection. If you are diabetic, you need to take extra care not to get any wounds in your hands or feet and check your blood sugar level frequently.

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