Wound treatment costs more than $50 billion every year. This is 10 times more than the World Health Organization’s annual budget. Treating wounds can be difficult, especially when it comes to chronic ones, or wounds experienced by people who have compromised immune systems. But innovations in wound-healing technology are treating these obstacles. Here are four worth knowing about.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Sometimes wounds are difficult to treat, but hyperbaric oxygen therapy offers a solution to heal them. How this treatment works is that the body is exposed to 100 percent oxygen at a higher pressure. Since wounds require oxygen to heal, giving them a greater amount of oxygen can make the healing process faster. People can be exposed to therapy in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or through a gas mask. This treatment works well for people with wounds such as thermal burns, soft tissue infections, skin grafts, and diabetes-related wounds which can be difficult to treat.
Bandages That Stop Bleeding Faster
When people have experienced traumatic accidents, they need to stop the bleeding as fast as possible. A medical startup in India known as Axio Biosolutions has come up with an innovative bandage dressing called Axiostat that uses chitosan, a polymer that’s found in shellfish. This material helps to stop bleeding within mere minutes. The dressing looks like sponge, but when it makes contact with blood it becomes moist and sticks to the blood vessels. This helps to seal the wound and effectively stop the bleeding immediately. It’s already being used in Indian hospitals as well as the military because it’s so effective for treating emergency wounds.
Bandages That Kill Germs
Wounds can easily become infected, which can delay the wound-healing process. To prevent this, the invention of a wound dressing that contains bacteria-killing properties is changing the treatment of wounds. The Phoenix-Aid, a five-layered wound care technology, was invented by medical student Ashwinraj Karthikeyan for use in developing countries where conditions aren’t always sanitary. According to the University of Virginia, the wound dressing aims to heal the wound, block viruses and germs that try to enter the wound, and comfort the wound. The dressing is breathable for skin, while killing off pathogens without damage to the wound. Innovations in wound healing such as this can make a positive impact on patients by minimizing their pain while also encouraging faster heal times to prevent complications like infection and disease.
Lactic Acid Bacteria
Lactic acid might make you think of skin treatments such as exfoliation, but it’s also a valuable innovation for wound healing. Uppsala University and SLU researchers have found a way to treat wounds by increasing the body’s ability to heal. They combined Lactobacilli bacteria with a plasmid, or DNA, encoding CXCL12. Then, they administered it to wounds in mice. They found that the skin’s cells and immune system cells increased in number, improving the healing of the skin while fighting off infection. This treatment had the same effect of producing effective wound closure in mice with health conditions such as hyperglycemia, which makes it effective at treating wounds when there is an underlying chronic disease that can cause complications in recovery.
Healing cuts and injuries costs a lot of money every year, but innovations to treat wounds can help to make them heal faster and more effectively. With innovations such as more efficient bandages, healthy bacteria, oxygen, and germ-killing dressings to heal wounds, the future of wound care is exciting.