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Gangrene in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Gangrene most commonly affects your child's hand, fingers, arm, foot, toes, or leg. In children, gangrene is most often caused by a bacterial infection. Gangrene is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. Gangrene is most often treated with surgery to remove the dead tissue.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your child's symptoms return or he or she has new symptoms.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Your child may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him or her. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Care for your child:
- Elevate your child's arm or leg above the level of his or her heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your child's arm or leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
- Have your child rest as directed. Do not let your child play contact sports. Your child may need several weeks to recover. Ask the provider when he or she can return to usual activities.
- Give your child a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods will help your child heal. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish.
Care for your child's wound as directed:
Always wash your hands before and after you touch your child's wound. Carefully wash around the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your child's bandages when they get wet or dirty. If your child's wound is left open, change the packing as directed. Check your child's wound every day for redness, swelling, and pus.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child may need to return for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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