Gas gangrene is a dreaded complication of severe soft tissue injuries in military and civilian practice. Its pathogenesis and typical manifestations are well known and rather standard forms of treatment have evolved during and since World War II. A high index of suspicion and careful patient observation along with early and vigorous treatment can often prevent a fatal outcome.
However, many cases of gas gangrene have been reported as occurring spontaneously or without a portal of entry. We believe this is not possible and that the pathogenesis will be evident in all cases if subjected to adequate study. The following case is one of fatal gas gangrene septicemia following minor abdominal trauma with intact skin and gastrointestinal tract. At first there appeared to be no portal of entry and this might have been labeled as another "spontaneous" case. This report is made as a reminder of the ever recurring problem
CANIPE TL, HUDSPETH AS. Gas Gangrene SepticemiaReport of an Unusual Case. Arch Surg. 1964;89(3):544-545. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320030134023