Clostridial gas gangrene is a well recognized complication of traumatic and surgical wounds, and is associated with an overall mortality rate of 25% (5, 22). Gas gangrene of a limb results in a mortality rate approximately half that of gas gangrene of the trunk (4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 24).
Radical debridement and antibiotic therapy or high amputation of involved limbs are accepted traditional approaches to the problem. The role and value of hyperbaric oxygenation (OHP) remains controversial despite intense study over the past few decades.
Patients with gas gangrene involving all layers of the abdominal wall as well as an extremity pose major resuscitative, operative, supportive, and rehabilitative problems. A report is presented of two such patients with comments on the therapeutic modalities employed.
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