Reasons for the Occurrence of Gangrene in Elderly People

Reasons for the Occurrence of Gangrene in Elderly People

The process of extinction of individual organs, limbs or body parts is called gangrene. It is primarily manifested by a change in the color of the dying areas from bluish to black. Gangrene may affect the internal organs (intestines, lungs, gallbladder), in addition to upper and lower extremities. The disease can turn deadly if the patient is unable to get medical assistance on time.

Reasons that may lead to the development of gangrene in older adults:

1. Impaired blood circulation in the tissues. The process develops gradually, limbs (leg or hand) are more often affected, dry type of foot gangrene occurs in old age. Factors that lead to disruption of the normal blood supply include:

Improperly applied plaster cast that constricts blood vessels and thereby impairs circulation; Finding a person under heavy objects that compress the body (for example, in case of accidents or accidents); If the arm or leg is too tight for too long, for example, with a medical bandage applied to stop the bleeding.

2. Diseases of the cardiovascular system:

heart disease;




endarteritis obliterans.

3. Infection. If pathogens enter the open wound, gangrene can occur. Particularly elderly people who’re suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases may be at greater risk. Microbes that can cause gangrene are found in the soil:


E. coli;



Clostridia are considered the most dangerous – they provoke the occurrence of gas gangrene and are able to live even in an oxygen-free environment.

4. Burns and frostbite. In case of burns with chemical substances (acids, alkalis), dry gangrene of the foot can occur, for example, in old age.

As a result of such harmful effects, the tissues are destroyed, their blood circulation deteriorates and the inflammatory process begins. Older age and comorbidities weaken the body, and infections easily penetrate into it.

5. Mechanical injuries.

In the event of damage to a large area of tissue, the infection may aggravate the injury.

For the patient, dry gangrene is not dangerous (which cannot be said about wet).

Risk factors for gangrene include:

general weakness;

long stay in a motionless state;


Other factors include somatic diseases, metabolic disorders, obesity, anemia, and severe hypothermia.

The causes of gangrene in legs in old age may be different. Diabetes mellitus is considered to be one of the most common because, in this disease, an elevated level of sugar in the blood causes enormous damage to almost all organs and systems of the body. Medicare Supplement Plans : These plans primarily can go side-by-side with Traditional Part A and B Medicare.