Gangrene: Blood and Intravenous Fluids

Edward Jackson Nursing Paper Gangrene: Gangrene is when there is dead tissue in an area of the body. This occurs when there is not any blood circulating to a part of the body. A person is at high risk of obtaining gangrene if they are a diabetic, had a serious injury, or a bad infection. The most common sites of gangrene are the toes, fingers, hand, and/or feet. There are two main types of gangrene: Dry Gangrene and Wet/Moist Gangrene. Dry gangrene is caused by the reduction of blood flowing to the arteries. It appears gradually and progresses very slowly.

Usually with gangrene, the affected part does not get infected but with this type, the infect part becomes cold and black. It becomes dry then sloughs off. A person with arteriosclerosis usually gets dry gangrene. Wet/Moist gangrene is caused when an infected wound is not treated. Swelling from the wound unusually stops the flow of the blood circulating. Cessation of blood flow facilitates invasion of the muscles by the bacteria and multiplication of the bacteria because the white blood cells cannot reach the affected part.

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Gas gangrene is a type of wet gangrene, and this happens when a certain type of bacteria (Clostridia) grows only in the absence of oxygen. There are also many different symptoms for gangrene such as: * The affected area gets numb * Swollen * Oozing Occurs * Becomes Black * Pain * Fever * Increased Heart Rate * Rapid Breathing Once a person is diagnosed with gangrene, there should be many tests run on the person. Blood tests should be run to show the number of white bold cells in the affected area. CT Scan will determine the extent of damage to the tissues and the amount of gas present.

The x-ray will examine the affected tissue. A person who has dry gangrene will receive a arteriogram to visualize obstruction in the artery which supply blood to the affected area. The treatment for gangrene is antibiotics and surgery. If the affected area cannot be controlled, then amputation could take place. Antibiotics are given to control the infection. Pain relievers are given to relieve the pain and swelling. Anticoagulants are administered to prevent blood clotting within the infected area. Then intravenous fluids are administered to replenish electrolytes.


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