LIVE SCIENCE – A man developed an “unusual” case of gangrene, or tissue death, after an improperly applied external catheter cut off blood flow to his penis and led to a serious bacterial infection.
Unfortunately, despite aggressive treatment, the man ultimately died of septic shock, a condition in which a person’s blood pressure drops dangerously low and organs shut down.
Prior to developing gangrene, the 64-year-old man had lost some control of his bladder due to a stroke that interrupted the blood flow to part of his brain, according to a report of the case, published Jan. 31 in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.
After being treated for the stroke, he was prescribed blood thinners to prevent the formation of blood clots, and given a condom catheter, a device that fits over the penis like a condom and siphons urine into an attached bag.
He was then discharged from the hospital.
“Although source control was achieved with aggressive debridement [tissue removal] careful wound care, and wide-spectrum antibiotherapy, the patient died due to septic shock.”
Ten days later, the man returned to the hospital with fever, pain and brownish-black discoloration of his penis.
Doctors found that the end of the patient’s penis was “engorged” and “gangrenous,” meaning there was a significant amount of dead tissue.
In addition, his blood contained a notably high concentration of white blood cells — infection-fighting immune cells — so he was given broad-spectrum antibiotics …