Traumatic Injuries Sustained in Methane Gas Environments Associated with Clostridial Gas Gangrene

  • Hiske Smart Welkom Medi-Clinic
  • F J Cronjé University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: Traumatic Injuries, Methane Gas Environments, Clostridial Gas Gangrene


Traumatic injuries, infected by gas gangrene-producing Clostridial organisms, carry a very high morbidity and mortality.1 Methane, a byproduct of anaerobic bacterial metabolism, is associated with Clostridia spp.2 Accordingly, there are legitimate concerns that traumatic injuries sustained in a methane-producing environment may be at higher risk for gas gangrene infection. During 2003 to 2008 six patients with traumatic injuries were referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to verified gas gangrene infections; all the injuries were sustained in and around methane-producing gold mines in Welkom. This article examines the possible association between the methane-producing gold mine environment and subsequent injuries complicated by gas gangrene.

Author Biographies

Hiske Smart, Welkom Medi-Clinic
Hons.B.Soc.Sc Nursing, MA Nursing, PG Dip Wound Healing and Tissue Repair Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy unit Welkom Medi-Clinic
F J Cronjé, University of Stellenbosch
MBChB, MSc Dept of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Division of Community Health University of Stellenbosch
Original Research