Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Foot Ulcers | CūtisCare

According to the CDC diabetes currently impacts the lives of approximately 34 million Americans, and is rising. National Diabetes Awareness Month is a great time for doctors and clinicians to fight back against this deadly disease. Advanced modalities, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, are showing tremendous promise in this fight.  

There are many adverse effects of diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease in patients with diabetes can cause severe neurovascular complications. These conditions can lead to severe lower limb vascular issues, hypoxemia, and non-healing foot ulcers. Severe diabetic foot ulcers can in turn lead to non-traumatic lower limb and extremity amputations.  

At CūtisCare we’re empowering doctors and clinicians with solutions to fight back. Our delivery models are designed to fill a critical void that exists in the world of diabetic wound care, treatment, and healing. We are a healing-centric, compliance-driven organization providing innovative, highly effective wound care solutions.  

According to The American Journal of Managed Care, roughly 80,000 Americans have a diabetes-related extremity amputation every year.    

That’s just too many life-altering amputations. In this post, our goal is to outline the basics of how HBOT treatments work for patients with diabetic foot ulcers. We’ll also highlight some of the potential positive outcomes and effective, real-world treatment benefits. Specifically, we’re going to discuss:

  • What HBOT Is and How It Works as a Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
  • The Specific Healing Benefits of HBOT for Foot Ulcer Patients
  • Where You Can Go for More Information 

So what exactly is HBOT and what are the benefits for foot ulcer patients at risk for lower limb and extremity amputations? 

HBOT is essentially breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment, usually in a hyperbaric treatment room or chamber. 

As the lungs take in large amounts of pressurized oxygen, the patient’s blood becomes more highly oxygenated. As the oxygen-rich blood circulates it carries more oxygen to the areas of concern, such as surgical sites or infected areas like diabetic foot ulcers.

The treatments can stimulate the release of substances known as growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing as well as the growth of new blood vessels. They can also help to fight bacterial growth. All of these treatment benefits promote healing.  

What Are the Specific Benefits for Foot Ulcer Patients?

The good news is that many amputations caused by foot ulcers are preventable. HBOT is a proven therapy that continues to show great promise. Louis Pilati MD, of the Kettering Medical Center Network, describes the numerous benefits of HBOT for patients with Wagner Grade 3 or higher:  

The physiologic effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of the diabetic foot patient is to reverse the described physiologic impediments caused by hypoxemia. Hyperbaric oxygen increases the dissolved oxygen and increases the amount of oxygenated plasma that is dissolved in tissue. It also increases reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species to increase growth factor synthesis, stem cell proliferation, diminished inflammatory response and enhanced white blood cell killing of bacteria. 

But what do patients have to say? Robert, a patient who recently underwent HBOT therapy at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center after developing an infection, gives an emotional testimony: 

It’s a bone infection that I dealt with. I couldn’t help it. I lost two toes…I was sick, very, very sick. The last resort was to do the amputation to get rid of the infection.

When I came here I did not know what to expect. They explained it to me, it’s the equivalent of going scuba diving 40 feet down, and it’s pressurized inside the chamber, and it will help me heal my wounds. It was an awesome experience. It was something I never expected, but I am glad I experienced it. It got me to the point where I am now. I knew sometime I would get to the point where I would hear those words, we’re done; you don’t have to come back here no more. When you hear those words, the best words you can hear.

That’s just one inspiring story, there are many others…

HBOT can be utilized as a critical component in a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce, and even reverse, some of the negative effects of hypoxemia in diabetic foot ulcer patients. HBOT can significantly reduce the risk of amputation as well. 

That’s great news for doctors, patients, and diabetic care teams in healthcare organizations of all sizes and scopes.

Could your hospital, practice, or clinic benefit from enhanced wound care capabilities?

At CūtisCare, we are laser-focused and passionate about facilitating exceptional patient outcomes through flexible, purpose-built, economical, and innovative HBOT solutions. In a nutshell, we provide hospitals, research facilities, clinics, and private practices nationwide with the expertise and real-world solutions to solve their patients’ chronic wound problems. 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy solutions for diabetic foot ulcers provide proven treatments designed to:  

  • Improve your patients’ quality of life 
  • Reduce infections and tissue necrosis
  • Lower amputation rates

Are you in the planning phase of establishing a comprehensive wound care center, or perhaps re-evaluating your current wound management practice or program? Would you like to become a recognized wound care center of excellence? 

Or do you just have some questions about wound care and Hyperbaric Medicine? 

Either way, we’d love to share our 25 years of knowledge and experience with you. Get in touch with one of our HBOT thought leaders today.