Gas gangrene is considered as an emergency defined by death of the bodily tissues due to the formation of gas by a bacterial infection.
In most cases, the condition is brought about by the spore-forming Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Once the bacteria multiply within the body, gas and other detrimental substances form and eventually damage the cells, tissues and blood vessels.
The possible risk factors for gas gangrene might include:
- Deep penetrating injury
- Chronic or poorly controlled diabetes
- Atherosclerotic diseases of the blood vessels
- Colon cancer
Remember that having these risk factors does not necessarily mean that the individual has gas gangrene. It might be due to other health ailments.
What are the indications?
- Sore swelling in the affected area
- Rapid heart rate
- Air beneath the skin
- Foul-smelling drainage from the tissues
- Skin that is brownish-red in appearance
Most of the indications arise abruptly and progress very rapidly. If left untreated, the individual might progress into a state of shock along with further complications.
Management of gas gangrene
It is important to note that surgery might be carried out as treatment for gas gangrene.
- During the procedure, the doctor will try to remove the damaged and infected tissue
- Amputation of the affected limb might be carried out to control the spread of infection in the body.
- Antibiotics are also prescribed as part of treatment for gas gangrene