Healing Hope: A Gel Derived From Blood : There is a gel that is made from a patient’s blood that can drastically speed the healing process of chronic wounds, especially ulcers that occur on the feet of diabetic patients. When these ulcers are treated with the gel they are far more likely to have a healthy outcome with full healing versus the ulcers that get treated via traditional treatment, according to studies.
The mass majority of the wounds that need treatment each year are wounds or sores that are open. They form on the flesh of the diabetic patient’s foot. Diabetic foot ulcers are not easy to treat and are the result of a combination of what can be a number of factors. Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is extreme exposure to inflated glucose numbers that cause extreme nerve damage. The sensation and feeling in the feet begins to fade the more damage that is done to the nerves. The loss of feeling makes it difficult for the patient to feel pain, so injuries can occur and be neglected unintentionally. The neglect worsens the injury and then infection usually sets in before it’s even noticed.
Compounding the nerve damage, diabetics are also prone to blood vessel damage. The blood is very oxygen-rich, therefore the immune cells that the flesh needs to repair itself cannot be delivered to the foot. Most foot ulcers take several months to heal and account for a great deal of medical dollars spent each year. The more severe foot ulcers can still be present a year after onset. Many diabetic foot ulcers have the unfortunate, and sometimes unnecessary, outcome of amputation. With proper treatment from a knowledgeable and skilled wound care physician, the outcome could be different.
The revolutionary gel utilizes the platelet-rich plasma in the blood. The plasma is already at use in the world of medicine as a treatment for injuries to the tendons and has recently been the topic of research as to how it would help improve the quality of life through mobility for patients who have arthritic knee(s).
The gel is made by putting 20 ml of the patient’s blood into a centrifuge for a one minute spin. The spinning serves to pull the plasma from all of the blood’s other elements. The plasma is a serum that is clear and is packed full of platelets. Platelets are a clotting agent for the blood. There are proteins in plasma that are called growth factors. They assist the body with the healing process.
Once the plasma has been spun it is mixed with a variance of elements to make it become a gel substance. This process takes a quick half-minute. The gel has to be spread over the top of the wound right away followed by dressing.
In a new study, patients with foot ulcers received treatments two times each week with the gel that is fresh from the centrifuge for the first two weeks of the test and then once a week after that. Patients reported that the gel was significantly superior to traditional care when the wound is simply cleansed and bandaged.
Around 130 diabetic patients with consistently stubborn foot ulcers were instructed to use the gel in addition to the normal care or just the usual care by itself. The study lasted just over 3 months. The average wound was four to six centimeters.
The study results were published in the medical journal Advances in Skin and Wound Care. The report stated that 48% of the ulcers that were using the gel experienced healing while only 30% of the patients that were administering simple care steps healed.
Our blood contains growth factors that have restorative power. Damaged tissue can be repaired with this power. The issue to take into consideration is the fact that we don’t all have the same growth factor level. We vary from individual to individual. This makes it impossible to predict if the treatment will be potent enough to significantly shrink the ulcer since potency is based on the health of a patient’s blood components.
Jeff Oescher worked for over 6 years as an orthopedic clinical associate and case technician. He now works as a medical writer for Vohra Wound Physicians, a national wound care physician group.
Related Videos about Gel Derived From Blood :
Gel made from blood could help foot ulcers heal quicker
Healing Hope: A Gel Derived From Blood
what is platelet gel, platelet gel autologous and jehovah’s witnesses, autologous platelet gel definition,