Wednesday, July 14, 2010

HBOT For Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Awareness Saves Limbs

The fight to reduce amputations is perhaps the most effective, best organized, and fastest-growing use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy today. And our aging population makes it a bona fide public health imperative. Consider the standard set of statistics:
  • 23.6 million Americans with diabetes
  • 1.6 million newly diagnosed every year
  • 15% will develop foot ulcers
  • 61% avoid amputation with traditional treatment
  • 89% avoid amputation with traditional treatment plus HBOT
[Note: Those first two numbers come straight from the American Diabetes Association and the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. The last three we find repeated everywhere but footnoted nowhere by HBOT manufacturers and providers. Citation, please, dear readers? Click comments below, or Contact Us, thanks.]

This television spot, a video news release circulating on local stations this week, reminds us how poorly this blog has covered advanced wound care for patients with diabetes. Such big companies and bright minds have been on the case for years, and wound care clinics seem to be doing so well. Yet providers all across the country tell us they welcome new ideas and better ways to raise awareness, improve education, and drive referrals. Now that's the kind of cause we can really get behind. So if you're listed, consider HyperbaricLink enlisted.

One final word till next time. A new Twitter follower is quick to play the Ounce of Prevention card. Here's some diabetic foot care guidelines from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: well-grounded advice about inspecting, grooming, bathing, moisturizing, and clothing your feet to avoid foot ulcers and infections in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Author's postscipt. I've sourced "15% will develop foot ulcers" (actually 15%-20%) to:

    Reiber GE, Boyko EJ, Smith DG. Lower extremity foot ulcers and amputations in diabetes. In: National Diabetes Data Group (U.S.). Diabetes in America. 2d ed. Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1995; NIH publication no. 95–1468.