Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for gas gangrene casualties in the Lebanon War, 1982

Isr J Med Sci. 1984 Apr;20(4):323-6.


Four gas gangrene casualties from the Lebanon War, 1982, were treated with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO). Myonecrosis was diagnosed in three and intraabdominal spread of clostridial infection in one. In all four cases, HBO treatment, in combination with meticulous but conservative surgical debridements and proper antibiotic coverage, was begun within 24 h of diagnosis. HBO therapy was terminated when bacteriostasis was attained, as evidenced by no further spread of myonecrosis and the alleviation of systemic toxic symptoms. All four patients recovered from the clostridial infection, but one died later from other causes. HBO therapy enhances the survival rate of patients with gas gangrene, lowers the anesthetic risk, allows for maximal tissue preservation and helps avoid radical mutilating surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Gas Gangrene / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Lebanon
  • Male
  • Military Medicine*
  • Muscular Diseases / therapy
  • Necrosis
  • Warfare*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*