Gangrene facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Gangrene is a serious medical condition that causes the decay and death of body tissue, usually in the extremities such as the fingers, hands, toes, and feet. The two main types of gangrene are dry gangrene and wet gangrene. A third less common type is a form of wet gangrene known as gas gangrene. A very rare type which affects the internal organs is known as internal gangrene.

Dry gangrene is usually caused by a loss of blood supply to the affected area, such as may happen following an injury which damages the blood vessels to the affected area. Wet gangrene usually occurs when a wound becomes infected with various types of bacteria. Gas gangrene is usually caused by clostridium bacteria and mainly affects the muscles. Internal gangrene affects the internal organs, usually the intestines, gallbladder, or appendix.

There are a number of risk factors which increase a person's chances of getting gangrene. These includes advanced blockage of the arteries in medical conditions such as diabetes.


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