Many and varied were the conjectures in times past to explain the presence of gas in the tissues and hollow organs. By some it was thought to be the result of decomposition, and by others, atmospheric air, gaining entrance either through ulcers of the intestinal tract or lesions of the lungs. The former surmise, in a certain number of cases such as pneumaturia, etc., was probably true, but those cases in which the gas supposedly entered through an ulceration and manifested its presence in the tissues by emphysema, were without doubt cases of gas bacillus infection.
In gas bacillus infections also we probably find the explanation of many of the cases of air embolus written about by the very old writers, since it has been clearly established by Dr. Welch and others that gas, as the1 result of post-mortem development of the Bacillus aerogenes capsulatus, frequently occurs in
BLAKE JB, LAHEY FH. INFECTIONS DUE TO THE BACILLUS AEROGENES CAPSULATUSWITH A REPORT OF TEN CASES. JAMA. 1910;LIV(21):1671–1675. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550470001001d