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Question:

From Newcastle upon Tyne, England:

My boyfriend (who lives in Wales) has had both his lower legs, one finger and the tips of three other fingers amputated due to diabetic ulcers. He currently has a nasty ulcer on the index finger of one hand which hasn't healed and said that it was likely that this would also have to be amputated. I did some research on the Internet and found some information on "topical oxygen therapy". The article states that this treatment is effective in 90% of diabetic ulcers.

My boyfriend conveyed this information to his hospital where he is also a dialysis patient. He was told by a doctor that the therapy was not carried out at the hospital and that in fact the doctor had never heard of it and was quite dismissive. I don't know how effective oxygen therapy is or if it is readily available to diabetic patients or if it is expensive. I would be extremely grateful if someone could advise me where my boyfriend could have this treatment as I believe it is worth pursuing this if it means that his finger can be saved.

Answer:

Large institutions in the US and Canada have facilities to deliver hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This treatment attempts to deliver oxygen through the surrounding atmosphere to the tissues that may have been affected by poor blood circulation. The kinds of ulcers that respond remains controversial.

The controversy is largely based on how you scientifically prove that the oxygen treatment was better than good wound care alone. However, I would suggest that you could contact the closest hyperbaric oxygen therapy center to you and see if your boyfriend could be evaluated. At the least, you could identify a regional expert in wound healing and ask their opinion of this therapy and whether it is available regionally.

JTL

DTQ-20030520231516
Original posting 30 May 2003
Posted to Complications

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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