Gas gangrene

  • Alternative Names

    Tissue infection - Clostridial; Gangrene - gas; Myonecrosis; Clostridial infection of tissues


    Treatment

    The person will need to have surgery quickly to remove dead, damaged, and infected tissue (debridement). Surgical removal (amputation) of an arm or leg may be needed to control the spread of infection. Often this must occur before all diagnostic test results are available.

    Patients should get antibiotics, preferably penicillin-type with clindamycin. Initially, patients receive antibiotics through a vein (intravenously). Some people may need analgesics to control pain. Doctors have tried hyperbaric oxygen for this condition, with varying degrees of success.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Gas gangrene is progressive and often fatal.


    Complications
    • Coma
    • Delirium
    • Disfiguring or disabling permanent tissue damage
    • Jaundice with liver damage
    • Kidney failure
    • Shock
    • Spread of infection through the body (sepsis)
    • Stupor

    Calling your health care provider

    This is an emergency condition requiring immediate medical attention.

    Call your heath care provider if you have signs of infection around a skin wound. Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911), if you have symptoms of gas gangrene.