A 62-year old diabetic black man presents in the emergency room with a swollen left leg with areas of blanching and blue mottling. A "foul odor" is coming from a dressed wound. The physicians remove the dressing and a brownish fluid is seeping from a wounded area. The fluid contains what appear to be small bits of the tissue. No pus appears to be present. The wound has a strong "rotten" odor. Five days earlier, while at his work as a farmer, he caught the leg in his manure spreader, sustaining a deep, crushing, grossly dirty injury. His wife cleaned the wound as well as she could with soap and water, dressed it with clean gauze, and wrapped it tightly with an elastic bandage to stop the bleeding. The second day they redressed the wound and applied triple antibiotic ointment. The patient treated his pain with ibuprofen (Advil). He reported the pain was not very bad for the first 72 hours. In the past 24 hours, the leg swelled and the mottling began to appear. A foul odor and severe pain accompanied the swelling. His wife convinced him to come to the emergency room even though they did not have medical insurance. 1.
What is your diagnosis in this case?
How should this wound be treated?
Is this a life-threatening condition?
Is it likely that the patient’s diabetes contributed to the problem as presented?
A 58-year old lawyer presents in the emergency room with headache, irritability, generalized muscle pain and uncontrollable back spasms. He has become very restless and worried because he has had the back spasms all through his court case that afternoon and they became extremely painful. In his history, the lawyer states that he has a very busy practice. He is on medication for high blood pressure (beta blocker) and has mild asthma. He injured himself about 10 days earlier, puncturing his left arm with a nail from an old barn he is tearing. The wound has produced moderate quantities of pus, but he has been keeping it...
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