Grammatical category: n
Term sources: DORLAND p. 761; EncBrit; WHO – http://www.who.int/tobacco/healthwarningsdatabase/tobacco_medium_brazil_vascular_03_por/en/ (last access: 22 August 2014).
Notes: 1. 1540s, from Latin gangraena, from Greek gangraina “an eating or gnawing sore,” literally “that which eats away,” reduplicated form of gran- “to gnaw,” from PIE root gras- (see gastric).
2. Infection following necrosis may lead to gangrene after burns, scalds, frostbite, crush wounds, puncture wounds, etc.
3. Gangrene indicates necrosis, most often of skin and subcutaneous tissue, and is often rapidly progressive.
4. gangrene, localized death of animal soft tissue, caused by prolonged interruption of the blood supply that may result from injury or infection. Diseases in which gangrene is prone to occur include arteriosclerosis, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger’s disease), and typhus. It also may occur after severe burns, freezing, or prolonged bed rest (bed sores).
5. Gangrene is differentiated as being either dry or moist. Dry gangrene results from a gradual decrease in the blood supply (as from diabetes or arteriosclerosis) in the affected area, often an extremity. The diseased part may at first be discoloured and cold to the touch; later it becomes distinct from nearby healthy tissue, turning dark and dry. If the infection is confined to a small area, the diseased tissue may eventually dry up completely and fall off. Treatment involves improving the blood flow to the affected area.
6. Cultural Interrelation: The king Herod probably died of chronic kidney disease, complicated by a particularly nasty case of gangrene.
On September 14, 1901, 25th US President, William McKinley, died of gangrene. He was shot by an assassin and his wounds were not properly dressed.
Notes’ sources: 1. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gangrene (last access: 22 August 2014). 2. GDT. 3. TERMIUMPLUS. 4 & 5. EncBrit. 6. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/01/0128_020128_KingHerod.html (last access: 4 April 2015); http://history1900s.about.com/od/1900s/qt/mckinleykilled.htm (4 April 2015).