Topical Oxygen Therapy relieves pain from hard-to-heal leg ulcers and improves healing: a case series

Journal of Wound Care, January 2022

Author: Jebril W, Nowak M, Palin L, Nordgren M, Bachar-Wikstrom E, Wikstrom JD.

Keywords: analgesia, diabetes, dressing, HBOT, hard-to-heal leg ulcer, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, pain, topical continuous oxygen therapy, topical oxygen therapy, TCOT, TOT, ulcer, venous ulcer, wound, wound healing

Abstract: Managing painful hard-to-heal leg ulcers is challenging with current therapeutic options. Wounds are prone to being hypoxic, and the subsequent pain is often related to hypoxia. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used to treat hard-to-heal leg wounds by delivering 100% oxygen at a pressure 2–3 times higher than atmospheric pressure. Unfortunately, most patients cannot be offered HBOT because it is costly and needs to be applied at specialised centres. Therefore, topical continuous oxygen therapy (TCOT) is a novel alternative for continuous local oxygen delivery to wounds and is associated with improved wound healing; however, its effect on painful wounds is unknown. This retrospective study was conducted on 20 patients, of whom 17 had painful hard-to-heal leg ulcers. In 13 patients (76%) with painful ulcers, TCOT was associated with rapid and substantial pain alleviation. Also, eight (40%) of the patients’ wounds healed entirely with TCOT. This study suggests that TCOT may represent a novel pain management device for hard-to-heal wounds.

Key points:

  • NATROX® O₂ can help relieve pain in hard-to-heal leg ulcers while improving healing rates.
  • 76% of patients experienced “substantial, rapid pain relief.”
  • 69% stopped taking opioids completely.
  • 53% became pain free.
  • Pain levels dropped from 8.2 (out of 10) to 1.9 by the end of the study.

Article Citation: Jebril W, Nowak M, Palin L, et al. Topical oxygen treatment relieves pain from hard-to-heal leg ulcers and improves healing: a case series. J Wound Care 2022;31(1):4-11. doi:10.12968/jowc.2022.31.1.4

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