Gangrene is a term that refers to the death of body tissue due to diminishment or loss of blood supply, leading to nutrient and oxygen deprivation. There are three major types of gangrene: moist, dry, and gas gangrene. Although gangrene usually affects extremities, it can sometimes affect the internal organs.
Moist gangrene is generally caused by a sudden stoppage of blood floe to a body site, usually resulting from burning by heat or by acid, from severe freezing, from a physical accident that destroys the tissues, from keeping a tourniquet in place too long, or from a blood clot or other blockage. The tissue death that results form loss of blood supply is accompanied by decomposition due to bacterial action. The gangrenous rapidly as toxins (poisons) are formed in the affected tissues and absorbed.
Dry gangrene usually occurs gradually and results from a slow, progressive reduction of blood flow in the arteries. There is generally no bacterial decomposition; the tissues simply become dry and shriveled. This type of gangrene occurs only in the extremities. It may occur as a secondary effect of arteriosclerosis in the elderly, of advanced stages of diabetes, or of Buerger’s disease (an inflammatory condition tha affects the blood vessels of the limbs, primarily the legs).
Gas gangrene is often caused by infection of a wound by anaerobic (able to live without air) bacteria, which are commonly found in soil. It can follow rapidly after contamination of deep wounds. The bacteria break down tissues, giving off gas and toxic by-products.
Gangrene in an internal organ can be caused by any condition that cut off blood supply to an area. For example, if a loop of intestine is caught in an opening in the abdominal wall, the blood supply to that part of the intestine may be cut off (causing what is called a strangulated hernia), and gangrene may the occur in that section of the tissue. In acute appendicitis, areas of gangrene may occur in the walls of the appendix, with rupture of the appendix through the gangrenous area. In severe cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder, usually associated with gallstones), gangrene can develop in areas where the stones compress the mucous membrane, cutting off the blood supply.
Moist gangrene is characterized by a purplish-red, bruised appearance; by swelling; and, often, by blisters.
Dry gangrene is marked by gradual shrinking of the tissues, which first grow cold and lack a pulse, then turn brown, then black. Usually there is a sharp line of demarcation where the gangrene stops because the unaffected tissue nearby is continuing to receive blood. This type of gangrene is sometimes called mummification of tissue because of the dry, shriveled, and dark appearance.
The initial symptoms of gas gangrene are swelling, paleness of skin, and thin, bloody (but not foul) discharge. The characteristic foul smell comes later in progression of this form of the disorder. It is an acute, painful condition in which the muscles and tissues under the skin become filled with gas and a thin, brownish-black fluid.
Symptoms of gangrene in an internal organ may include pain, tenderness over the organ, and fever.
The appearance of the affected area usually suggests the diagnosis to the physician. Laboratory analysis of a tissue specimen will allow the identification of the ineffective microorganism, which is necessary for selection of an appropriate antibiotic. Areas of gas gangrene may be seen on X-ray.
Treatment of gangrene generally involves cleaning of the area and administration of antibiotics. The effectiveness of antibiotic therapy seems to depend on the time elapsed between injury or infection and the beginning of treatment.
In the case of gangrene caused by deterioration in the blood supply of the elderly or gangrene associated with appendicitis, hernia, diabetes, or Buerger’s disease, the treatment begins with the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition.
Preventing gangrene in an open wound begins with cleanliness. All dirt and particles in an open wound should be removed as soon as possible, and the wound should be cleansed with a soap solution and water. Burned skin requires careful, antiseptic handling to avoid infection. Frostbite also is dangerous because freezing impairs the circulation of the skin, making it tender and easily damaged. Frostbitten skin, especially on the fingers, toes, and earlobes, must be handled with great care.
(Chasnoff, Ira J, Jeffrey W. Ellis, Zachary S. Fainman. Family Medical & Health Guide .Publications International, LTD (1991) : 179-181.
Psoriasis Treatment Guidelines and Pictures Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, is commonly seen as red and white hues of scaly patches appearing on the top first layer of the epidermis (skin). Some patients, though, have no dermatological symptoms. Here is some guidelines for Psoriasis Treatment
Paleo Diet Recipes and Food List The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the "Paleolithic diet" also refer to the actual ancestral human diet. Centered on commonly available modern foods, the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
Family Health Nursing “Family health nursing is the practice of nursing directed towards maximizing the health and well-being of all individuals within a family system. It incorporates two views of family; family as a unit of care and family as a system existing within larger system. Levels of intervention are individuals the personal, the family system, and the environmental level. The goals of the family health nursing include optimal functioning for the individual and for the family as a unit.”
The family as a unit of care means that the entire family is the recipient of nursing intervention. This view point recognizes the mandate in the standards of community health nursing’s practice that identifies clients as individuals, families and communities. In contrast, the family as context recognizes the impact the family has on an individual. This viewpoint underscores the need to understand the family environment in which the individual exists.
Common Ankle Problems The primary care physician will often be the first to evaluate common foot and ankle problems. The patient's complaints will range from acute traumatic injuries to chronic conditions, which have progressed in severity.
The recognition of local and systemic factors that contribute to the patient's condition in conjunction with a thorough history and physical examination will direct the initial plan of management, the use of further diagnostic testing and the necessity of an Orthopaedic referral.
Ectopic pregnancy Causes, Symptoms and Treatment An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus. Usually it occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes, through which the egg travels from the ovary to the uterus. (In that case, it is also known as a tubal pregnancy.) However, on rare occasions, the fertilized egg starts to develop in the ovary, on the cervix, or attached to the outside of a nearby organ in the abdominal cavity. (the ovary is not directly connected to the fallopian tube. There is a slight gap, which sometimes permits an egg to enter the abdominal cavity.)
Leukemia Symptoms and Therapy Leukemia is cancer of blood-forming tissue, including the lymph system and bone marrow. Because leukemia involves blood cells circulation through the body rather than a fixed mass of tissue, leukemia is sometimes not considered a true cancer. However, leukemia cells, when studied under a microscope and in cell cultures, behave like cancer cells found in tumors.
There are at least ten different kinds of blood cells that have been identified with various forms of the disease, which is why if frequently is referred to as leukemia. In addition, there are both acute and chronic forms of leukemia, such as acute granulocytic leukemia and chronic lymphatic leukemia, named after the particular kind of white blood cells that are most affected.
Downs syndrome Symptoms and Prevention Down’s syndrome is a congenital (present at birth) disorder characterized by varying degrees of mental retardation and a variety of physical abnormalities.
Down’s syndrome Causes
Normally, each cell in the human body has 46 chromosomes; the cells in someone with Down’s syndrome, however, have 47. In ways that are as yet unknown, the presence of the extra chromosome causes all of the unusual characteristics of Down’s syndrome. In 95 percent of cases, the condition is called trisomy 21 (because the extra chromosomes is attached to the twenty-first pair of chromosomes), and the mistake in genetic coding is one that apparently could happen to anyone. In five percent of cases, the syndrome is caused by a defect that is believed to run in families.
Cocaine Effects on The Brain and Body At one time cocaine was considered the drug of upper-class America. Unfortunately, the use of cocaine and its derivative, crack, is now epidemic. It is estimated that 25 to 30 million people have experimented with cocaine in the United States. Approximately 5 million people use the drug regularly. Among young adults, 6,7% have tried crack and 40% tried cocaine. In a recent survey of high school senior, 1 in 18 admitted to trying crack and 14% used cocaine in other forms.
A powerful stimulant, cocaine is derived from the leaves of the South American coca shrub and ground into a crystalline powder. The most common methods of sung the drug are either snorting it, liquefying it and then injecting it, or freebasing (smoking). When snorted, the white powder is sniffed up through the nose. The most potent and expensive method of cocaine use is freebasing. The drug is usually smoked in a water pipe because this provides faster absorption into the bloodstream.
Pleurisy symptoms back pain Pleurisy (also known as pleuritis) is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Among other things, infections are the most common cause of pleurisy.
The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause severe sharp pain with inhalation (also called pleuritic chest pain). Here is some stuff about pleurisy symptoms back pain.
Emphysema Life Expectancy Stages Emphysema occurs when the air sacs in your lungs are gradually destroyed, making you progressively more short of breath. Emphysema is one of several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema.
As it worsens, emphysema turns the spherical air sacs — clustered like bunches of grapes — into large, irregular pockets with gaping holes in their inner walls. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and, in turn, the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream.
Types of Schizophrenia and Symptoms Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient's reported experiences.
Anemia Symptoms in Women and Pregnancy Anemia is common among women, in both the obstetric and the primary care settings. It is not a disease in and of itself, but it indicates the presence of an underlying disorder, such as an occult malignancy, nutritional deficiency, or bleeding, that must be sought out and effectively treated.
Anemia is a decline in erythrocyte mass from any etiology and is generally defined as a hematocrit or hemoglobin value that is two standard deviations below the mean for a given population. Specifically, in women, a hemoglobin value less than 12 g/dL (or less than approximately 11 g/dL in pregnancy) is generally considered consistent with anemia. The lowered norms in pregnancy occur because of a "physiological anemia" as a result of the disparate rise in the plasma and erythrocyte volumes. The norms for hemoglobin among those of African descent are 1 g/dL lower.