Gangrene is the death and decay of tissue that usually occurs when
the blood supply to the tissue is cut off by injury or infection. After the
tissue is dead, bacteria may infect the tissue and cause decay.
Gangrene may affect small areas, such as fingers or toes that have
been frostbitten, or larger areas of tissue, such as part of the foot. People
who have impaired blood flow, such as people with diabetes, may be at higher
risk of gangrene if they have skin wounds and infections that are not treated
Gangrene is treated by restoring blood flow to the affected area,
treating any infection, and removing the dead and dying tissue. If it is
severe, gangrene sometimes requires that a part of the body, such as a finger,
toe, or foot, be amputated.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Dennis L. Stevens, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.