A new device at M.V. Hospital for Diabetes in Royapuram, promises diabetics relief from foot ulcers.

The device, known as the hyperbaric advanced wound care unit, provides oxygen at high pressure, leading to wounds healing faster.

The device has a pressure chamber into which a patient is placed. The air inside the chamber is two-and-a-half time’s greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

“Normally, the air we breathe contains 21 per cent oxygen. In the chamber, 100 per cent oxygen is introduced. The organs and tissues take in more oxygen, and this helps in the healing of infected wounds,” explained Vijay Viswanathan, chief diabetologist of M.V. Hospital.

“As the body receives more oxygen, it stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and improves blood flow which helps fight infections. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the best solution for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, chronic problem-causing ulcers, arterial insufficiency ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and pressure ulcers,” Dr. Viswanathan said.

The equipment was used by the Indian Navy in Mumbai several years ago, and around 10 per cent of its beneficiaries were civilians, the specialist said. “Patients with foot ulcers spend around Rs. 20,000 or more every month. This treatment would help their wounds heal faster and they can get back to work sooner,” he added.

A session in the pressure chamber lasts 90 minutes and is priced at Rs. 6,000 in Delhi, he said. Six patients can be treated per day, he added.

Prasanth Varkey, executive director and India representative of Asia Pacific Hyperbaric Society, said the hospital is the first in the State to get the equipment

“One session will be provided free for one patient who bears a recommendation letter from the dean of a government hospital,” Dr. Viswanathan said on Friday, at a programme.

Information minister K.T. Rajendra Balaji commissioned the device, while health secretary J. Radhakrishnan, who also participated in the programme, lauded the hospital’s efforts.

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