Gangrene of the newborn is an uncommon condition usually resulting from
decreased perfusion of a part, usually an extremity. There are a variety of
situations which can result in this condition. Knowledge of the exact
sequence of events which lead to the insult and the conditions surrounding
it is helpful in determining the etiology and as a consequence the
treatment of the lesion. In the patient described, direct pressure from the
maternal pelvis was probably the contributing factor which led to venous
occlusion of the extremity. Arterial thrombosis, emboli, trauma, congenital
heart disease, sepsis, dehydration, coagulopathies, and venipuncture are
other possible causes which should be considered. The treatment is in
general supportive, allowing the ischemic area to demarcate and slough.
Range-of-motion exercises and splinting to avoid contracture are helpful in
the rehabilitative phase.