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Definition of «Gangrene»

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Gangrene: The death of body tissue due to the loss of blood supply to that tissue, sometimes permitting bacteria to invade it and accelerate its decay.

The word "gangrene" comes from the Greek "ganggraina" denoting "an eating sore that ends in mortification" (of the flesh).

Gas gangrene involves the invasion of a deep penetrating wound (in which the blood supply is compromised) by anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive with little or no oxygen) such as members of Clostridium family of bacteria. The bacteria generate gas and pus. Gas gangrene is an acute, painful, dangerous condition.

Dry gangrene is the death of tissue due to vascular insufficiency without bacterial invasion. The tissue simply dries up and shrivels.

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