Treatment effective in limb preservation, study reveals

A new approach to wound care may lead to fewer amputations.
A new approach to wound care may lead to fewer amputations.

A new study shows human acellular dermal wound matrix can be used as an effective limb preservation strategy for patients with chronic, complex wounds and multiple comorbidities. 

The study, which was published in June in the Journal of Wound Care, monitored 13 patients with lower extremity ulcers and multiple comorbidities, including diabetes mellitus and peripheral vascular disease. 

The patients had an average of three comorbidities, although six of the patients had more than four, wrote lead author Marie Williams, D.P.M, of Florida's Aventura Hospital.

“Rising prevalence of obesity and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus has resulted in an increasing number of patients with multiple comorbidities who require treatment for chronic complex wounds,” Williams wrote.

The patients ranged in age from 38 to 90 years old, with a median age of 76. Their wounds were debrided to create a bleeding bone or wound base for the human acellular dermal wound matrix. Antibiotics were also prescribed to the patients as needed. 

After a four-week monitoring process, all of the patients' wounds healed without complications. Two patients had been originally advised to receive major leg amputations. After receiving treatment with the human acellular dermal wound matrix both were able to retain functional limbs.