army medical museum

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PHAGEDENIC CONDITION OF GUNSHOT WOUND

When invasive organisms were introduced to the body via gunshot wounds, a “phagedenic condition” (“eating-sloughing”) can occur. It was treated the same way as all other ulcers developing wet gangrene - amputation

Charles F. Barnum, Private in Co. E, of the 187th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, was shot in the Battle of Petersburg, VA, and was photographed and illustrated when his ulcer extended 6.5 inches from his ankle. The amputation was performed just below the tubercule of the tibia, and healed fully. No prosthetic was recorded before discharge.

Photograph from National Museum of Health Archives. Contributed Photograph 1183.