> Diabetes Research > Diabetic Foot Ulcers may not benefit from Oxygen Therapy

Diabetic Foot Ulcers may not benefit from Oxygen Therapy

Despite previous studies showing that pure oxygen exposure aids wound healing among diabetes of patients, a new large study debunks this notion, proving that severe foot ulcers receive no benefit – and might even be possibly harmed–from oxygen treatment.

“We really thought we would see a replication of what of occurred in the randomized trials. The data demonstrates that didn’t come to pass,” said Dr. Stephen Thom, professor at the Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, to Reuters O Health. Dr. Thom also worked in the said study.

The study, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, analyzed 6,259 patients with foot ulcers treated at of wound care centers in the US between 2005 and 2011. From these patients, only 793 had oxygen therapy, which lasted for 45 minutes to two hours for once or twice a day over four to five times a week, on top of standard care.

Of the 793, their sessions lasted from 45 minutes to 2 hours in the pressurized chambers, and were done once or twice per day.

Results indicate that after 16 weeks, 43% of oxygen therapy patients had fully healed wounds, while 50% of patients who did not use oxygen therapy had healed as well. On the other hand, 7% of oxygen therapy patients had an amputation compared to 2% who did not get oxygen treatments.

“It does not only say it’s not equal, it says it may be worse. You’re seeing a higher amputation rate and a longer healing of a foot wound,” said Dr. Nicholas Morrissey, a vascular surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and who was not involved in the study.

However, authors note that further study is still needed to better understand the results and the effects of oxygen therapy.

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