Fatal case of “penile gangrene” related to an improperly placed catheter

A man developed an “unusual” case of gangrene, or tissue death, after an improperly placed 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 and organs fail.

Before developing gangrene, the 64-year-old man had lost control of his bladder due to a stroke that cut off blood flow to part of his bladder Brainaccording to a report on the case published Jan. 31 in the Journal of Medical Case Reports (opens in new tab). After the stroke was treated, he was prescribed blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming and given a condom catheter, a device that fits over the penis like a condom and suctions urine into a bag attached to it. He was then released from the hospital.

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