The high incidence of gas gangrene infection in modern warfare and the difficulties encountered in the treatment and cureof the disease have been and still constitute a major medical problem. It has been estimated that the incidence of gas gangrene in the African campaigns of 1942 and 1943 was as high as that encountered in France during the world war of 1914-1918. Although these anaerobic infections were not especially common in the Tunisian campaign (2 to 7 cases per thousand wounded) they were definitely more prevalent in Sicily (10 cases per thousand wounded) and were considered to have been the most troublesome infection encountered in forward military areas during the Italian campaign of 1943-1944 (20 cases per thousand). These figures acquire additional importance when MacLennan and MacFarlane1 estimate that the case fatality of gas gangrene in the present war has been approximately 50 per cent.
Statistical data are not
LANGLEY FH, WINKELSTEIN LB. GAS GANGRENEA STUDY OF 96 CASES TREATED IN AN EVACUATION HOSPITAL. JAMA. 1945;128(11):783–792. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860280009004