Gas gangrene is a severe form of gangrene (tissue death) caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. It generally occurs at a wound or surgical site, causing painful swelling and destruction of involved tissue. Gas gangrene is rapidly progressive and often fatal.
Review Date 11/23/2021
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.