Could Nitric Oxide be the Key to Healing Ulcers?

Apr 12, 2018

Wound care, especially among the elderly or those with conditions like diabetes, is critical in preventing infection and resulting amputations.  A new wound care device aimed specifically at common diabetic foot ulcers has many asking – “Could Nitric Oxide be the Key to Healing Ulcers?” That’s right, nitric oxide is being heralded as one of the newest, and most effective, tools to treat diabetic ulcers and other wounds.

Wound care is a critically important issue in today’s healthcare industry.  Many types of ulcer, including pressure sores and diabetic ulcers, are preventable or treatable with proper recognition and intervention.  More than ever, researchers are looking for innovative ways to improve recognition, intervention, and prevention strategies to promote better outcomes for patients.  Let’s take a look at this latest innovative strategy for wound care.

Could Nitric Oxide be the Key to Healing Foot Ulcers?

Edinburgh-based technology developer Edixomed recently conducted a trial of their product EDX110, a medical device that is nitric oxide based.  The study compared the results of patients receiving treatment with the EDX110 device, as opposed to patients receiving traditional wound care.  The study included 135 patients across 10 hospitals in the United Kingdom (UK), of which 148 patients had diabetic foot ulcers.

All patients received optimal wound care, including debridement, antimicrobial treatment, and offloading, but around half of the patients also received EDX110 wound dressing.  Over the course of the 12 week study, the patients who received the EDX110 dressing experienced a reduction in wound size of almost double that of those receiving traditional wound care.

The results were broken down as follows:

  • 89 percent of patients using the EDX110 experienced reduced ulcer size as compared to 47 percent of those receiving traditional wound care.
  • The number of completely healed wounds increased by more than 50 percent when the EDX110 was used.
  • 45 percent of infected wounds were healed using the EDX110, as compared to only 23 percent among patients receiving traditional care.
  • Hospitalizations related to ulcers were significantly reduced when the EDX110 was used.

The study focused on “real world” patients with ulcers that are very common.  Compared to current best practices, the EDX110 shows promise for wound care of various types.

At Brown & Brothers, we know how important it is for you to get quality care that will promote health and wellbeing. If you believe that you have received improper wound care, or have developed an infection or other complication that could have been prevented, contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.

What is the EDX110?

EDX110 has been described as being a “revolutionary, disruptive, wound care system” unlike anything currently marketed.  Using nitric oxide, the EDX110 helps promote a natural defense mechanism produced by the human body to protect against viruses, bacteria, and fungi.  The technology behind EDX110, including nitric oxide, has been shown to treat antibiotic-resistant infections including E.  coli and MRSA.

EDX110 was used in the trial as a wound dressing, but it is noted that the technology can be applied as a dressing, gel, liquid, or inhaled spray.  The result is a protective layer that offers cushioning support and a moist-yet-sterile environment to promote healing.  The current study focused only on diabetic foot ulcers, but the technology offers promise for wound care of all forms.

EDX110 has not yet been approved, but applications are being filed to protect the technology and allow the medical device to be used to help patients who desperately need relief.  Researchers continue to explore the technology’s applicability to chronic wounds and the promise of a device that could reduce infections.

The Serious Nature of Ulcers

There are several types of ulcers that require consistent, ongoing treatment to prevent infection or serious complications requiring amputation.  These include:

  • Diabetic Ulcers: Diabetic ulcers are wounds that often begin as small lesions on the foot, ankle, heel, or toes. These wounds may begin small, but can quickly become infected.  Diabetic ulcers are caused by inadequate blood supply to the lower extremities, which can cause numbness, tingling, or nerve damage.  This makes it difficult for diabetic patients to recognize or feel a lesion or small wound in the early stages.  Diabetic ulcers are responsible for hospitalization of diabetic patients at a higher rate than any other complication.  Further, these ulcers are the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States.
  • Pressure Sores: Also called decubitus ulcers or bedsores, these wounds develop when pressure is placed on certain parts of the body for too long. When this happens, blood supply to muscle and soft tissue is interrupted, which causes a wound and leads to tissue death.  Most often occurring during hospitalizations, in nursing homes, or among individuals with limited mobility, pressure sores are considered a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

It is important for patients to recognize the signs and symptoms of any sort of ulcer.  It is also, and perhaps even more important, for healthcare providers to understand the risks of ulcers, how to recognize them when they appear, and how to get proper treatment.

When to Get Legal Guidance

Untreated diabetic ulcers or pressure sores could be a sign that you or your loved one are not getting the proper care that you deserve.  Preventative strategies are the best way to prevent ulcers from compromising your health and wellbeing.  Unfortunately, wound care remains a consistent problem plaguing our healthcare system.  While technology like the EDX110 is promising, there is still more work to be done in order to truly reduce the number of preventable amputations and deaths related to ulcers.

If you have questions about ulcers and your healthcare, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys.  Our attorneys are skilled in the areas of malpractice, pressure ulcer negligence, and nursing home abuse.  Fill out our online form to get started with a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/research-and-innovation/new-device-dramatically-improves-diabetic-foot-ulcer-healing/7023970.article?v=1

How to Spot and Treat Common Diabetic Foot Ulcer Symptoms