Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 08 – Gangrene (WARNING: Pictures may not be suitable for all readers)

Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)


Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by discussing another medical concept from the eighth episode of The Simpsons, gangrene.


In the eighth episode of The Simpsons, The Telltale Head (Season 01, Episode 08), when Bart decapitates the statue of beloved town founder Jebediah Springfield, an angry mob chases him down. This prompts Bart to tell a 23 minute and 5 second story of how he came to have the head in his possession.

The story starts on the past Sunday when Bart and Lisa are at Sunday school.

Janey: Will my dog Pepper be there?
Ms. Albright: I’m sorry, but the answer is no.
Janey: Why not?
Ms. Albright: Because Heaven is for people.
Lisa: What about my cat, Snowball?
Ms. Albright: I’m sorry, but the answer is no!
Millhouse: Will there be cavemen in heaven?
Ms. Albright: Certainly not!
Bart: Uh, ma’am. What if you’re a really, really good person and you’ve been in a really, really bad fight and your leg gets gangrene and it has to be amputated? Will it be waiting for you in Heaven?
Ms. Albright: For the last time, Bart, yes!


So while dogs, cats, and cavemen will not be in heaven according to Ms. Albright, gangrenous lost limbs will be in heaven awaiting their rightful owners. But have you ever wondered what exactly gangrene is?



Gangrene is when part of your body tissue dies, often as a result of the tissue not getting enough blood from your circulatory system. It usually affects your extremities — the areas farthest from your heart, such as your toes and fingers. However, it can affect other parts of your body, including your internal organs as well. Risk factors include diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, smoking, major trauma, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, frostbite, and Raynaud’s syndrome. The term gangrene comes from Latin, meaning “putrefaction of tissues”

The three main types of gangrene are dry gangrene, wet gangrene, and gas gangrene.

In dry gangrene, one of your body parts isn’t getting enough oxygen leading to that body part deteriorating and dying. With dry gangrene, the skin is closed and there is no evidence of infection.

In wet gangrene, your body tissues become infected with some bacteria. The tissues react to the bacteria by growing moist and breaking down. This process causes the death of your tissues.

Bacteria called Clostridia cause gas gangrene. These bacteria create an infection that causes gas bubbles and toxins to develop inside the affected area, resulting in tissue death. This type of gangrene can be fatal.

Gangrene is a medical emergency, as it can spread through your body and lead to amputations or death. Recognizing and treating the condition in a timely manner will improve your outcome. Treatment modalities for gangrene include antibiotics, vascular surgery, tissue debridement, exposure to hyperbaric oxygen, and amputation.


WARNING: Some readers may find the following two pictures graphic. Viewer discretion is advised:





Now that we know a little more about gangrene, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.

What’s your favourite Simpsons medical reference/image/scene? Were you familiar with the concept of gangrene prior to this post? Did you think the word gangrene had something to do with the colour ‘green’? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

21 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 08 – Gangrene (WARNING: Pictures may not be suitable for all readers)

  1. This is a wonderfully random and exotic post Safi. As Mr Burns would say ….Excellent……

  2. Very interesting post Safi, certainly different !!!
    I did not realize there was three different forms of gangrene. Nothing wrong with letting people know about this awful condition & plenty of reader warnings, thanks.

  3. You think gangrene is bad? You should see a case of gangblue. Horrible, with the periwinkle and the powder. Oy vey!

  4. What’s your favourite Simpsons medical reference/image/scene?

  5. Omg…i cant unsee that😰

  6. When I was a nursing student I attended a Halloween party thrown by our college’s student association. The award for best costume was won by a group of men who dressed in green scrubs and painted their faces green. They called themselves “Gang Green”.

  7. With a title like that how could I not click? And now I have some new wallpaper.

    (JK I threw up like everyone else)

  8. Well done Safi!

    The pictures are awesome. It was a really good idea to place the warning in the subject line as well as in the body! I remember watching that episode when I was really young. Great times!

    Cheers and Happy Monday to you all!

  9. Enjoyed the topic very VERY much… Gangrene is crazy… I have read before that for the blood to start going back to your toes or extremities affected, sometimes, leeches can be used. That’s an alternative and experimental (last I heard/read) treatment.

  10. You really need to put a warning about the subject matter at the start of this article. I was sitting here having my coffee and morning breakfast bar when I started reading this. YUK !😱 .
    My dear Safi, are you on crack?????? LMAO What in the GOD’S were you thinking ?? I knew what Gangrene is before reading this. But out of morbid curiosity I JUST HAD TO SEE WHERE THIS WAS GOING. That’ll teach me……Lol
    Curiosity did kill the cat ! 😕 🐈🐱🐺.
    Have a wonderful day everybody. 😎

    • I think the real culprit here is the person who wrote, “out of morbid curiosity I JUST HAD TO SEE WHERE THIS WAS GOING.”

      He warned you. Twice. Morbid curiosity won!

      • Yes there are 2 warnings ! Both references applied to photographs.
        Why does that make me a CULPRIT ??????😎
        I expressed my opinion just like everyone else. 😛

    • I put the first of two warning right in the title of the post. Pretty hard to go higher than that.

      Nevertheless, next time you’re in Toronto, let me know. I’ll make it up to you and get you a Tim Hortons coffee and morning breakfast treat to make up for the ones you may have lost your appetite for today.

      • Thanks my dear Safi for reading my post correctly. I wasn’t knocking you nor making derogatory remarks. I would love to have coffee with you, and I finished my breakfast bar. LOL

  11. *retch*

  12. I appreciate all of your posts and the effort you put into them, Safi, but this subject went too far. If you wanted to include images of gangrene, links to photos seem more suitable than the graphic photos this post includes. Each reader deserves to choose to look at the gangrene photos or not to do so. I have a strong stomach and am not squeamish about medical photos, but for a general readership blog this really seemed inappropriate.

    Thank you for creating another Monday post and I’m really glad you are a part of the tstoa team, the gangrene post notwithstanding.

  13. My paternal uncle had his foot amputated. He has diabetes. He told my father he woke up and it was black. I find it hard to believe it happened “overnight”. He has enough money to see a dr regularly. He was a computer programmer at Halliburton. He’s a very smart and grumpy old coot. So I only got the story second hand from my pop. At my aunt’s funeral 2 yrs ago I caught a peek at his “ankle” when he was sitting, it was a rod. My sister laughed and said “What did you expect?” . I expected that realistic silicone vinyl like the “Reborn” dolls 😂

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