Gangrene is a form of necrosis caused by obstruction of the blood supply to an organ or tissue. An embolism, clot, or ischemia in almost any part of the body can cause gangrene, as can chronic circulatory problems from diseases such as diabetes mellitus. It often requires a mix of treatment such as removal of the dead tissue, amputation, antibiotics, vascular surgery, maggot therapy and the use of a hyperbaric chamber.
Common kinds of gangrene include:
- Diabetic: Gangrene usually of the lower extremities occurring in some diabetics.
- Dry: Gangrene that results when the dead area remains aseptic — this occurs when the arteries to the area are cut off, but not the veins, and the tissues take weeks or months to fall off. This is the type of gangrene suffered by Gregory House that resulted in muscle death and his disability
- Gas: Gangrene that occurs in a wound infected by a gas-producing bacteria such as clostridium perfringens
- Moist: Gangrene that is wet because of necrosis and infection — it leaks fluids and decomposes rapidly. This is typical of conditions such as necrotizing fasciitis
- Traumatic: Gangrene caused by serious injuries.