Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis

Also known as: Gas gangrene
Gangrene can occur with compound fractures, complicated fractures, soft tissue injury after accidents, war wounds and appendicitis. Many marine organisms can cause gangrenous infections that begin with a small cut or scrape while swimming, surfing or diving. Those with liver problems, diabetes or who are immunocompromised are at increased risk for gas gangrene.

Symptoms of gangrene occur shortly after injury, with severe and sudden pain in the infected area. Skin over the wound becomes shiny and tense, then dusky, progressing to bronze. Gangrene can advance very rapidly. Pronounced swelling and edema occur in the infected area.

Based at Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Hyperbaric Medicine is Oregon's only 24-hour hospital-based hyperbaric service.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, pressurized chambers with a 100 percent oxygen environment counter the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, smoke inhalation, and decompression illness in scuba divers, as well as promote tissue healing in patients with impaired circulation due to diabetes, trauma and radiation therapy.