Diabetics are prone to foot amputations (or partial foot and toe amputations), often because of poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Poor circulation impairs the body’s ability to heal, and could cause conditions whereby advanced treatment or, later, amputation becomes necessary. EPIFLO helps stimulate healing by providing much needed oxygen to the wound, allowing healing to take place.
Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, can produce a reduction in sensation, resulting in unawareness by the patient that an injury or condition has occurred. Often, due to neuropathy, minor foot injuries become serious conditions that end in either full or partial foot amputation. A patient who undergoes a foot or toe amputation often must endure additional amputations in the coming months and years.
When an ulcer or sore on the foot or leg does not heal using standard therapy, other therapies are sometimes considered. As noted, a major reason that leg and foot wounds do not heal is lack of sufficient oxygen at the wound site. Advanced therapies include Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT chambers using pressurized Oxygen,) and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT), often thought of as a Wound VAC ® (KCI USA, San Antonio, TX). NPWT applies negative atmospheric pressure to a wound. Both NPWT and HBOT are said to stimulate wound healing–HBOT by increasing the amount of oxygen available at the wound site and NPWT by removing the edema. Both, however, have drawbacks which are noted here in a comparison between EPIFLO, Hypbaric Oxygen Treatment and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy.
A major issue with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is that the patient must travel several times per week for a treatment that takes upwards of 90 minutes. Treatments can go on for months, causing major disruption in the patient’s life and sometimes at great expense for the caregiver. Also, some very common wounds are not covered by insurance and Medicare. Similarly, NPWT requires patients to be tethered to a heavy vacuum pump 24/7. More importantly, the ability to reduce treatment time vs. standard care therapy using NPWT has been questioned by the medical community. NPWT treatment can last for months, and often just reduces the size of the wound rather than closes it, requiring intervention such as surgery to achieve closure.
Many examples exist of patients who were already scheduled for a foot or toe amputation which was later cancelled after treatment with EPIFLO. Several can be found below or see our case study page.
EPIFLO benefits patients by providing a highly effective and painless around the clock treatment. The 3 ounce device fits in a pocket allowing patients to quickly regain their normal mobility and schedule. Our patient database includes many patients whose physicians considered a leg, toe or foot amputation prior to having their wounds succesfully treated and healed by EPIFLO.