John Capotorto's, M.D., Letter to the Editor of The Washington Post
We do need more science – this time for wounds
David Kohn’s Jan. 27 article, “Could hyperbaric treatment heal the brain,” skimmed over a crucial yet often overlooked issue impacting millions of Americans also treated by hyperbaric oxygen – chronic wounds. With nearly 8.2 million people suffering from painful, nonhealing wounds in the United States, chronic wounds have become a silent epidemic sweeping the nation that can lead to infection, amputation, and even death if not properly treated.
Every day in America, patients who fall victim to non-healing wounds suffer constantly; even seemingly simple tasks like walking are turned into a daily struggle. Yet as conditions such as diabetes and obesity – which often lead to chronic wounds – continue to rise, the sense of urgency to address life-threatening wounds fails to rise with it. Promising new treatments like the one discussed in Kohn’s piece could save lives and help millions of Americans get back on their feet and back to the lives they once enjoyed – but before this is possible, as Tel Aviv University research Shai Efrati stated, “We need more science.”
Although focused on the potential of this treatment for a different issue, Kohn came to a conclusion that advocates within the wound care industry have been shouting for some time now: Hyperbaric treatment needs more research. As long as we avoid investing research dollars in promising wound care therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, millions of Americans will continue to fall victim to these painful, life-threatening wounds.