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December 1950

GANGRENE OF THE EXTREMITIES: A Recently Recognized Complication of Severe Meningococcic Infection

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service, (Halloran) Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1950;86(6):877-890. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230180082007

WITH RARE exception,1 the extensive literature on meningococcic infection is singularly free—until recent years—of references to a serious complication, gangrene of the extremities. By contrast, a growing but still limited number of case reports has appeared since 1944.2 An analysis of this material and a description of another case comprise the following report.

REPORT OF A CASE  On Sunday night, Nov. 6, 1949, a 28 year old Negro man was brought to the emergency room of Halloran Veterans Administration Hospital in semicoma. The history, as obtained from his mother and stepfather, indicated that the patient was honorably discharged from the United States Army in February 1944, with a diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever, and from then on he was presumed to have "heart trouble." Since his discharge from the Army, he was subject to periodic attacks, characterized by pains, aches, weakness and "fever," persisting for a week and