Interventions that can heal or reduce diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) size may reduce the incidence of infection and amputation, and reduce associated social and economic costs. Many chronic wounds exhibit a degree of hypoxia and this leads to a reduction in healing processes including cell division and differentiation, angiogenesis, infection prevention, and collagen production. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the effects of a device supplying continuous oxygen ambulatory therapy on healing in chronic DFUs. Patients with chronic DFUs from two tertiary referral hospitals in the UK received treatment with the device. Data were prospectively obtained on wound size using standardised digital images measured by a clinician blinded to the study. Data on device satisfaction and pain were also obtained. We recruited 10 patients, with a mean ulcer duration of 43 weeks (median: 43 weeks) before treatment. By week eight, mean ulcer size had decreased by 51% (median: 53%). Seven of the 10 ulcers were in a healing trajectory, one ulcer present for 56 weeks healed completely, a two-year old ulcer was reduced by more than 50%, and a third, present for 88 weeks, was down to 10% of its original size by the end of the eight-week study. There was also a non-significant trend towards reduction in pain and the device was extremely well tolerated. The ambulatory topical oxygen delivery device showed a significant beneficial effect on wound size. This poses practical advantages over currently existing oxygen-based wound therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to its continuous oxygen delivery, ease of use, safety and lower cost. The results of this study warrant further review of the device in comparison to standard wound therapies.

Hayes, Alzuhir, Curran, Loftus, , , , , (2017). Topical oxygen therapy promotes the healing of chronic diabetic foot ulcers: a pilot study. Journal of wound care, 2017 Nov;26(11):652-660. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29131746