The role of continuous topical oxygen therapy as an adjunctive treatment in non-healing chronic wounds: a South African perspective



non-healing wounds, topical oxygen therapy


Background: This study aims to investigate the impact of continuous topical oxygen therapy (cTOT) as an adjunct to routine standard of care (SoC) in several patients with chronic, hard-to-heal wounds at the Wound Management Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.

Patients and methods: Patients with non-healing wounds lasting more than 30 days without active, untreated infection or osteomyelitis were included in this study. Following review and informed consent, patient, wound, and pain assessments (numeric rating scale, NRS) were performed. The cTOT system (cTOT, NATROX® O2 wound therapy) was applied to the wound and covered with an appropriate secondary dressing. Wound assessments and dressing changes were performed weekly until healing was achieved.

Results: A total of 14 patients received cTOT. Two patients were lost to follow-up, and one failed to return to the clinic after eight weeks of treatment; however, data from that point were included. Six wounds healed within a mean duration of 11.7 weeks. The diabetic foot ulcer (DFU, Texas grade 2B, patient 4) took the longest time to heal (17 weeks), whereas the fastest healing was seen in a venous ulcer (VU) reported to heal in just six weeks, despite a duration of seven months before cTOT. The mean area reduction across the 12 wounds was 78.6%. The NRS pain score was shown to reduce in 5/6 wounds by 3.2 points on average (2–4 range).

Conclusion: cTOT proved to be a valuable adjunct to help improve wound healing and reduce pain in these challenging wounds in South Africa, highlighting the possible benefit of access to this therapy for patients with chronic, non-healing wounds in the region.

Author Biographies

L Naude, Eloquent Advanced Wound Management Centre

Eloquent Advanced Wound Management Centre, South Africa

W Cole, Kent State University

College of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University, United States of America and NATROX Wound Care, United Kingdom

E Woodmansey, NATROX Wound Care

NATROX Wound Care, United Kingdom






Original Research