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Patients’ Own Blood can Help Their Wounds Heal Faster

By Alice Merry Subscribe to RSS | January 1st 2012 | Views:

Chronic wounds like diabetic ulcers and pressure ulcers are a source of great concern for health officials as well as medical practitioners. Unlike acute wounds, which can be easily treated by cleaning and using dressings like Coban, Aquacel etc, these wounds are difficult to treat and the treatment and high treatment costs place a substantial burden on the health system. According to a study, a new treatment option may provide faster relief. A topical gel prepared from patient’s own platelets has been found to accelerate the pace of healing.

Treatment of chronic wound is a cumbersome task because it requires the doctor to address all of the factors that caused the development of the wound. It includes proper cleaning of the wound, its debridement and application of an appropriated dressing. In addition to this, finding out the underlying cause such as diabetes (in most cases) and taking steps to properly address this cause is also very important.

David Hom, MD, from the University of Cincinnati and his team conducted a six months long study involving eight subjects including four males and four females. All of the participants received five full-thickness skin punch wounds on both legs. Afterward, autologous platelet gel (APG) was applied on one leg, while the other leg was treated by an antibiotic ointment. The wound were monitored for six months.

The researchers found that the wounds treated with APG healed much faster than the ones treated with antibiotic ointment. On the 14th day, APG treated wounds had achieved 73.9 percent closure, while the antibiotic treated wounds had 49.6 percent closure. The APG treated wounds had over 81 percent closure by day 17 compared to 57.2 percent closure of antibiotic treated wounds. High levels of growth factor were also observed in APG treated wounds. Growth factors are proteins that play an important role in wound healing. The researchers also found that when the platelet count in the topical gel was over six percent of the platelet count in the blood of the subjects, new tissues formed three days earlier in the APG treated wounds.

"Overall, some of the APG-treated wound sites healed two to three days faster," said Hom. "That's a significant amount of time. This may be especially useful for patients who are prone to poor healing, such those with diabetes.” He further added, "If APG continues to prove it speeds up skin wound healing in future studies, it could be beneficial to give it to patients during surgery as a preventive measure to reduce post-op healing complications."

Alice Merry - About Author:
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