Thirty-two cases with clostridial gas gangrene were treated during the years 1971-87 in the Department of Surgery, Turku University Central Hospital. The presumptive diagnosis was made on the basis of the clinical appearance of the patient and presence of gram-positive bacilli on a smear. Each patient underwent surgical debridement, antibiotic therapy and hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Seventeen cases had diffuse spreading myonecrosis, 11 of whom survived. Fifteen patients developed clostridial cellulitis with toxicity, 12 survived. Thus the over-all mortality was 28.1%. All those patients who died had been transferred from other hospitals of the country and were already moribund on arrival. Twenty-two infections developed postoperatively, in 6 cases trauma was the antedecent cause and 4 were spontaneous infections. None of the patients with a posttraumatic infection died. The most common underlying disorders included arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, malignancy and Buerger’s disease. The addition of hyperbaric oxygenation to the treatment of gas gangrene–although strictly adjunctive to surgery, antibiotics and supportive therapy–has dramatically changed the surgical approach to treatment. Early diagnosis remains essential. Patient survival can be achieved if the disease is recognized early and appropriate therapy applied promptly.
Hirn, Niinikoski, , , , , , , (1988). Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of clostridial gas gangrene. Annales chirurgiae et gynaecologiae, 1988 ;77(1):37-40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3207345