Patients with dry gangrene usually do well as long as they do not become infected. These patients lose some local function due to tissue loss and, if they have an ongoing disease like diabetes, may develop dry gangrene again. In general, patients recover with minimal residual problems if the tissue loss is small. Patients with wet gangrene usually have a poorer prognosis than those with dry gangrene. Statistics for the U.S. suggest that the mortality (death) rate is about 6%-7% in patients hospitalized with gangrene. The mortality (death rate) increases to about 20%-25% if the patient becomes septic. If treatment is initiated early, only about 15%-20% of patients need some form of amputation (digits, limbs). Although the death rate has remained steady, the number of cases of gangrene has been increasing in the United States in recent years, possibly due to the increasing numbers of patients with diabetes and other diseases that affect the vascular system, but the data are not complete.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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