Gangrene is the death of an organ or body tissue. When the blood supply is cut off, the tissue does not get enough oxygen and begins to die. If the gangrene is widespread, shock can occur.
There are three main types:
Causes of gangrene include:
These factors increase your chance of developing gangrene. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Symptoms may include:
Gangrene of the Foot
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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam.
Tests may include:
Treatment of gangrene includes:
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Diabetes Association
Canadian Diabetes Association
Cecil RL, Goldman L, et al. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2001. 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Gas gangrene. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 2008. Accessed June 24, 2008.
Mandell GL, Douglas RG, et al. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.
Rosen P, et al. Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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