Meleney's synergistic gangrene is caused by S aureus and streptococcus organisms. One of the identifying symptoms is the presence of extremely painful lesions, which usually form in the second week after surgery or minor trauma. The ulcers that form at the center of the lesion are usually covered by a black eschar and encircled by a gangrenous margin. With knowledge of the pathophysiology and characteristics of this process, nurses can aid in the recognition of this unexpected complication. Nursing interventions can be planned around the needs of these patients. The key to recovery is early identification of the infection and prompt treatment.

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