Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Anniversary: Young woman dies of "gas gangrene" after safe, legal abortion

Twenty-year-old Gail Ann Vroman had an abortion performed on July 14, 1979, by New York abortionist Taskin Ratharathorn at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Women's Health Organization. Within two hours, Gail was transferred to a nearby hospital.

Gail died of massive infection on July 18. The coroner ruled that the death was caused by clostridium perfringens, or "gas gangrene."

Gas gangrene generally occurs at the site of trauma or a recent surgical wound. ....

The onset of gas gangrene is sudden and dramatic. Inflammation begins at the site of infection as a pale-to-brownish-red and extremely painful tissue swelling. Gas may be felt in the tissue as a crackly sensation when the swollen area is pressed with the fingers. The edges of the infected area expand so rapidly that changes are visible over a few minutes. The involved tissue is completely destroyed.

Clostridium bacteria produce many different toxins, four of which ... can cause potentially fatal syndromes. In addition, they cause tissue death (necrosis), destruction of blood (hemolysis), local decrease in circulation (vasoconstriction), and leaking of the blood vessels (increased vascular permeability).


Systemic symptoms develop early in the infection. These consist of sweating, fever, and anxiety. If untreated, the individual develops a shock -like syndrome with decreased blood pressure (hypotension), kidney failure, coma, and finally death.

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