Gangrene

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about gangrene in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Gangrene refers to the death of body tissue due to a lack of blood flow or a bacterial infection. Gangrene most commonly affects the extremities, including your toes, fingers and limbs, but it can also occur in your muscles and internal organs.

Your chances of developing gangrene are higher if you have an underlying condition that can damage your blood vessels and affect blood flow, such as diabetes or atherosclerosis.

Gangrene may occur due to a lack of blood supply to cells in the tissue or infection.

When gangrene affects your skin, signs and symptoms may include:

Skin discoloration ranging from pale to blue, black or red

Severe pain followed by a feeling of numbness, or

A foul-smelling discharge leaking from a sore

Gangrene that is infected with bacteria can spread quickly to other organs and may be fatal if left untreated

Treatments include surgery to remove dead tissue and antibiotics. The prognosis for recovery is better if gangrene is identified early and treated quickly.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.