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Gangrene (cont.)

What Is the Medical Treatment for Gangrene?

People with gangrene require urgent assessment and treatment to prevent the spread of gangrene. Antibiotics and surgery are the primary treatments and have been proven very effective. Hospitalization is necessary for treatment.

Dry gangrene: Because the cause of dry gangrene is a lack of blood flow, restoring the blood supply is vital. Assessment by a vascular surgeon can help determine whether surgical intervention to restore blood supply would be beneficial.

Wet gangrene: Surgical debridement (removal of dead tissue) of the wound is performed, and intravenous antibiotics are administered to control the infection.

Gas gangrene: This condition needs to be treated aggressively because of the threat of the infection rapidly spreading via the bloodstream and damaging vital organs. The wound requires immediate debridement. Antibiotics are administered to the affected person.

What Are the Medications for Gangrene?

Antibiotics are usually administered intravenously to control the infection.

Pain relievers are administered as necessary.

Anticoagulants are administered to prevent blood clotting.

Intravenous fluids are administered to replenish electrolytes.

Is there Surgery for Gangrene?

The wound is cleared of dead tissue (debrided) to allow healing and to prevent the spread of infection to surrounding areas.

If the infection cannot be controlled with debridement and administration of antibiotics, amputation of the affected part becomes necessary to prevent further deterioration.

Other Therapy for Gangrene

Hyperbaric oxygen is delivered through a specially designed chamber that contains oxygen under high pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen has been shown in some studies to improve wound healing, and it ensures that bacteria that thrive only in an oxygen-free environment (anaerobic bacteria) will be killed. However, this therapy is not available in all medical centers. People receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy must be monitored for symptoms of oxygen toxicity, such as profuse sweating, difficulty breathing, and convulsions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017
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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Gangrene - Treatment

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fournier Gangrene »

In 1883, the French venereologist Jean Alfred Fournier described a series in which 5 previously healthy young men suffered from a rapidly progressive gangrene of the penis and scrotum without apparent cause.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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