Gangrene is a serious condition where a loss of blood supply causes body tissue to die. It can affect any part of the body but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers and hands.
Gangrene can occur as a result of an injury, infection or a long-term condition that affects blood circulation.
Symptoms of gangrene include:
You should see your GP immediately if you're worried you may have gangrene.
These include people with long-term conditions that can affect the blood vessels, such as:
In 2013-14, more than 35,500 cases of gangrene were seen in hospitals in England.
The main treatments include surgery to remove damaged tissue, known as debridement, and antibiotics to treat any underlying infection.
In some cases, surgery may be needed to restore blood flow to the affected area.
In more severe cases, it may be necessary to remove an entire body part such as a toe, foot, or lower leg. This is known as amputation .
Many cases of gangrene can be prevented.
If you have a condition that increases your risk of getting gangrene, such as diabetes, it's important you have regular check-ups to assess the state of your feet. Report any problems to your GP as soon as possible.
Stopping smoking if you smoke and adopting a healthy lifestyle, with a low-fat diet and regular exercise ,can also improve your circulation and reduce your risk of developing gangrene.
Gangrene is a serious condition in which a loss of blood supply causes tissue to die. It can affect any part of the body but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers and hands.
The symptoms of gangrene vary depending on the underlying cause. The condition can affect any part of the body, but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers or hands.
Read about the different types of gangrene, what causes them and who's most at risk.
Find out how gangrene is diagnosed using a combination of physical examination, medical history and tests.
Find out how gangrene is treated. The main priorities are to remove the affected tissue, treat or prevent infection and treat the problem that caused gangrene.
Find out how to lower your risk of developing gangrene including foot care advice, which is very important if you have diabetes, not smoking, eating healthily and exercising regularly.