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1st December 2022

HTW guidance: Topical oxygen therapy (NATROX)

A treatment for people with diabetic foot ulcers has been recommended for routine adoption in Wales by Health Technology Wales.

Continuous topical oxygen therapy (TOT) can be used to treat people with chronic non-healing and complex diabetic foot ulcers – the largest single reason for hospital admissions in people with diabetes.

In people with diabetes, the circulation to the legs is often impaired affecting the supply of blood and oxygen to the lower limbs. This can lead to problems with the healing of cuts and sores which can then develop into foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers may occur in 10% of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

TOT can improve wound healing of diabetic foot ulcers by continuously supplying an external flow of pure oxygen through small tubes directly into the wounds themselves.

According to research by HTW into the TOT device called NATROX, the use of continuous TOT, in addition to standard care, increases the number of wounds with complete wound healing, reduces the wound area and the time it takes to heal, compared to standard care alone . This could result in estimated cost savings of £211 per patient and a total cost savings of £8,637 to NHS Wales

HTW’s guidance states that the evidence supports the routine adoption of continuous topical oxygen therapy to treat patients with chronic non-healing and complex diabetic foot ulcers.

To read the guidance in full click here.