What Is HBOT’s Role In The Treatment Of Diabetic Foot Wounds?

Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) have a definitive role in the podiatric treatment of chronic diabetic foot wounds? 

At CūtisCare we recognize that HBOT can play an essential role in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Education is foundational to the services we provide for physicians, clinicians, and administrators in hospitals and care facilities of all sizes and scopes. And our educational efforts, along with many organizations in the field, have paid off over the last decade.

HBOT, commonly referred to as HBO2, has gained wide acceptance as a CMS-approved treatment for non-healing wounds with diverse etiologies, including diabetic foot wounds. In fact, non-healing diabetic foot wounds are one of the most commonly encountered indications for HBOT, best served with a comprehensive team approach to treatment. We can’t overstate the value of a multidisciplinary approach. Dr. Louis Pilati, of the Kettering Medical Center Network, summed it up perfectly on Hyperbaric Aware:

Use of hyperbaric oxygen in treating these patients [with chronic foot wounds] has been shown to reduce the risk of major amputation. These patients are complicated and require a team approach. This should include vascular surgery, foot and ankle surgeons, and infectious disease specialists along with the wound care and hyperbaric medicine team.”   

Wound care centers that are also able to provide hyperbaric medicine, have become an industry model in exactly how a team approach to healing should work, reducing amputations and saving lives along the way. When treating chronic wounds of any kind, a multidisciplinary approach is the first step to success.

What is the basic healing mechanism demonstrated by HBOT therapy for diabetic foot wounds?   

HBOT has become a reliable, Medicare-approved treatment in an evidence-based approach to wound care. As we pointed out in previous posts, the mechanism is fairly straightforward. 

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.

HBO2 treatments can stimulate the release of substances known as growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing and the growth of new blood vessels. They can also help to fight bacterial growth. All of these treatment benefits promote healing. 

Dr. Pilati also continues, “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.”

The data continues to show that HBOT is an evidence-based, low-risk, effective adjunct therapy for treating chronic diabetic foot wounds. 

Medical News Today reported in a recent article, “A 2018 study reported that HBOT was effective in treating 74.2% of diabetic foot ulcer cases. [with Wagner Grade 3 wound classification or higher]”. That’s excellent news for doctors and wound care teams trying to prevent lower extremity amputations.

Would you like to arm your wound care team with the most advanced treatment tools available for treating chronic diabetic foot wounds and reducing amputations?

Our team is laser-focused and passionate about facilitating exceptional patient outcomes through flexible, economical, and innovative HBOT solutions. We take a knowledgeable, compliance-driven, and evidence-based approach to wound care. Our mission is to provide hospitals, research facilities, clinics, and private practices nationwide with the solutions and expertise they need to treat their patients with chronic wounds.

Non-healing wound care management with hyperbaric oxygen therapy solutions provides proven treatments designed to:  

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

If you’re in the planning phase of establishing a comprehensive wound care center or perhaps re-evaluating your current wound management practice or program, we can help. We can also help you become a recognized wound care center of excellence. 

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

Wherever you are on your journey toward wound care excellence, we’d love to share our 25 years of knowledge and experience with you. Get in touch with our team of HBOT thought leaders today.