Gangrene Essay

707 Words May 14th, 2015 3 Pages
Gangrene is a term that is used to identify when a large amount of tissue undergoes cell death (necrosis). Gangrene essentially means death of tissues due to lack of blood supply and invasion of deeper tissues with infection (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). There are two main classifications of gangrene, dry type and wet or moist type (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). There are several other types of gangrene that are rarer, however, all types of gangrene manifest either as dry or wet form (Porth & Gaspard, 2015).
Dry gangrene, the part becomes dry and shrinks, the skin wrinkles, and its color changes to dark brown or black (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). Dry gangrene is usually characterized by cold, painless and dry and shriveled up affected part. There is
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Blebs form on the surface, liquefaction occurs, and a foul odor is caused by bacterial infection (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). There are black blisters and foul-smelling pus beneath the thinned skin at the area. There is no line of separation between the normal and unhealthy tissues, and the spread of tissue damage is fast. Systemic symptoms are usually severe, and death may occur unless the condition can be arrested (Porth & Gaspard, 2015).
Wet gangrene occurs when infection and bacteria invade deeper tissues after injuries, frost bites, foot ulcers or burns. There is excessive swelling of the affected part due to release of the toxins from the invading bacteria (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). This leads to blockage of the blood supply and worsening of the infection as the fighter cells of the body (white blood cells) cannot reach the area affected via blood vessels.
Dry gangrene is confined almost exclusively to the extremities, but moist gangrene may affect the internal organs or the extremities. If bacteria invade the necrotic tissue, dry gangrene may be converted to wet gangrene. Wet gangrene can spread much quicker than dry gangrene and may lead to life-threatening complications like septic shock if not treated immediately.
The last type of gangrene is gas gangrene it is a special type of gangrene that results from infection of devitalized tissues by one of several Clostridium bacteria, most commonly Clostridium perfringens (Porth & Gaspard, 2015). These anaerobic

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