Before discussing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for gangrene, let’s first define the condition.
In the case of gangrene, tissue death occurs due to a shortage of oxygen-rich blood, typically in the extremities.
This is an emergency situation that requires prompt medical attention in order to prevent further tissue death.
Without quick and appropriate treatment, the complications brought about by gangrene might necessitate strong doses of antibiotics or limb amputation.
In severe cases, tissue death due to an inadequate blood supply can become fatal.
There are many risk factors for gangrene, such as peripheral artery disease, smoking, significant trauma, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, frostbite, influenza, dengue fever, malaria, chickenpox, plague, hypernatremia, radiation injuries, invasive meningococcal illness, Group B streptococcus infection, and Raynaud’s syndrome. But the most common of all is diabetes,
Around one in ten Americans have diabetes, which puts them at an increased risk for gangrene.
Increased glucose levels in the blood can narrow blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the feet. This sets off a chain reaction that could eventually induce gangrene.
Due to this poor blood flow, fewer infection-fighting cells reach the feet. It may take longer for wounds to heal if there aren’t enough of these cells present.
Infection is also more prone to spread from any wounds. Many diabetic patients don’t recognize the early stages of gangrene because high blood sugar levels can destroy neurons, resulting in a lack of sensation in the affected area.
There are many forms of gangrene, and each has its own unique root cause.
Dry gangrene occurs when blood flow in a specific part of the body is restricted.
Oxygen is transported throughout your body via your blood. Your body can’t function without oxygen to your organs.
A person can experience rapid degeneration and eventual death in an area of the body that isn’t receiving adequate amounts of oxygen from the rest of the body’s blood.
Dark green or purple, nearly black, coloration is typical of the affected area. Lack of oxygen can cause the skin to become dry and wrinkled.
Moist gangrene, as the name implies, has a wet appearance. Symptoms of this type include blistering and edema.
People who have suffered severe burns or frostbite are more likely to develop wet gangrene. Wet gangrene can occur after a seemingly minor injury to the toes or feet in people with diabetes.
People with diabetes typically have reduced blood flow to their limbs. This slows the rate at which tissue in these places can recover.
This makes it easier for an infection to take hold. Untreated, wet gangrene can rapidly spread and prove lethal.
Gas gangrene is typically caused by a deep-seated infection. Toxic bacteria produce gas that is toxic to cells, tissues, and blood vessels. Gas gangrene can develop in a wound or surgical site.
As your skin swells, it may take on a brownish-red hue. As a side effect of the gas, your skin may take on a “bubbly” appearance.
Because of its rapid onset and lack of warning, gas gangrene is a particularly dangerous kind of gangrene.
Internal gangrene can occur when the blood supply to an internal organ is obstructed.
As a result, the appendix, gallbladder, and intestines frequently become infected. In this case, you may feel extreme discomfort and maybe develop a fever.
Fournier’s gangrene is limited to the genital organs. It’s brought on by a genital or urinary tract infection. Genital discomfort, swelling, and sensitivity are common symptoms of this condition.
Tissues frequently have a very unpleasant odor and an unusual coloration (purple, green, or even black). Fournier’s gangrene is more common in men, but it can also affect women.
A rare type of gangrene that can occur after the surgery is progressive bacterial synergistic gangrene. The skin around the surgical site may develop lesions one to two weeks after the procedure.