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Purpura Fulminans with Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy and Symmetric Peripheral Gangrene Complicating Sepsis in an Infant: A Case Report

LW Umar
MS Ya’uba
AA Olorukooba
Y Abubakar
AJ Mohammed
ND Chom


Purpura fulminans is a rare consequence of sepsis that could be complicated by DIC and gangrene. We report the case of a 2-months-old infant who developed gangrenous limbs. He presented with fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and irritability for 5 days and was dehydrated and unconscious with global hypertonia. With a clinical impression of sepsis antibiotics, IV fluids and supportive care were commenced. He developed purpuric rashes over the trunk and feet, the latter of which gradually ascended over the legs, with swellings and ischemic skin changes up to the knees. A diagnosis of purpura fulminans was made and further evaluation revealed deranged haematologic parameters, features of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy (DIC), hypernatraemia, azotaemia and arterial occlusion. Despite blood transfusions and supportive care gangrene emerged and progressively ascended towards the knees. Parents however rejected offer for surgical amputation and left against medical advice. The coexistence of purpura fulminans with multiple triggers for DIC should alert clinicians of a potential risk of peripheral gangrene.

Keywords: Infant, Sepsis, Purpura fulminans, DIC, Gangrene