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July 1976

Gas GangreneReview of 34 Cases

Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(7):788-791. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630070036011

High morbidity and mortality continue to result from gas gangrene, despite the use of aggressive modes of therapy. Between 1967 and 1973, 34 patients with gas gangrene were seen at the University of Maryland Hospital; 11 (32.3%) died. Clostridium perfringens was recovered from the wounds in 79% of the cases and from the blood in 15%. Eighty-five percent of the wounds contained one or more organisms in addition to C perfringens, with as many as seven organisms recovered from some wounds. Twenty-nine patients received hyperbaric oxygen treatments, as well as the more conventional antibiotic drugs; it was not possible to assess the value of this added therapy. Gangrene of the abdominal wall resulted in a higher (50%) mortality than gangrene of an extremity (24%). Presence of normal or depressed white blood cell counts, decreased platelet counts, and abnormal renal or liver functions all denoted a poor prognosis.

(Arch Intern Med 136:788-791, 1976)