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Topical Oxygen Therapy: What Wound Care Professionals Should Know

Windy Cole, DPM
November 29, 2022

Windy Cole, DPM, CWSP In this interview, Dr. Windy Cole discusses the use of topical oxygen therapies and what processes oxygen help facilitate in wound healing. She indicates the etiologies this therapy can treat as well as care settings that may find the therapy effective.

Topical Oxygen Therapy: What Wound Care Professionals Should Know from HMP on Vimeo.


Hi, I'm Dr. Windy Cole. I'm the Director of Wound Care Research for Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, and I'm also the National Director of Clinical Safety, Quality, and Education for Wound Tech.

What is topical oxygen and how is it utilized in wound care?

Topical oxygen allows for the introduction of additional oxygen into the wounded tissues from an outside source. Oftentimes, these are devices that the patient can wear that take oxygen from the environment and humidifies it and directly implants it into the wounded tissue.

What types of wounds are potential candidates for topical oxygen therapy?

Really, the etiologies are endless, so all chronic stalled wounds can potentially benefit from adjunctive therapy, such as topical oxygen. We know that when tissues become wounded, the need for oxygen increases. Oxygen is so important for many different processes for wound healing. Oxygen helps with the oxidative killing of bacteria. It decreases contamination levels in the wounds. It helps with angiogenesis. Oxygen is super important for collagen formation. So, we know that collagen is a building block of our tissues and without adequate oxygen, collagen can't form. It also helps to up-regulate many growth factors, and those are extremely important to help to optimize the potential for wound healing. Oxygen plays a really broad role and an important role in wound healing. Any chronic stalled wound could benefit from increased oxygenation.

In what care settings might one use topical oxygen therapy?

I think it can be used in really all settings. I think across the continuum of care. Personally, I've used it in the outpatient setting. I've also used it in home care and telemedicine based. But, I think it could have a role inpatient and skilled nursing and LTACHs. I don't know how much it's being utilized in those areas, but I think the potential is there. I'll be curious to see what the future holds for this technology

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.