Gas gangrene in Sushruta samhita

Kshama Gupta


Gas gangrene is a rapid spreading infective type of gangrene of the muscles characterized by collection of gas in the muscles and subcutaneous tissue. Gas gangrene is caused by clostridial infection (Clostridium perfringens/Clostridium welchii) due to the fact that it is also called as “clostridial myonecrosis.” Sushruta samhita is one of the three Brihat trayee (major classical Ayurvedic texts) and it belongs to the surgical school founded by Dhanvantari. The present article deals with the reference of gas gangrene-like condition in Sushruta samhita. There is a reference regarding muscular wounds which are characterized by gas and crepitations and considered as fatal in Sushruta samhita, Sutra sthana, 28th chapter named “vipareetaavipareeta vrana vigyaneeyam.” The wounds which make harsh, groaning, and sparkling sounds; those located in skin and muscle emit air with sound are fatal. Gas and crepitations were considered as fatal signs in muscular wounds according to Sushruta. The earliest record of gas gangrene and its fatal outcome is found in Sushruta samhita.

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