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Research trial saves Philip’s foot

A 54 year old diabetes patient from Pontefract has expressed his thanks after taking part in a research trial at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which saved his foot from amputation.

Philip Herbert, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007 and later developed an ulcer on his foot, was part of the device trial called “LeucoPatch in the Management of Hard-to-heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers.“

LeucoPatch is produced from the patient’s own blood by a process called centrifugation. The final product comprises a thin circular plug composed of high concentrated fibrin (a protein formed during the clotting of blood) as well as platelets and leucocytes (white blood cells).

This plug is used as a dressing for the diabetic foot ulcer and applied weekly in clinic. After six weeks Philip’s wound had completely healed.

“The LeucoPatch® was absolutely amazing,” said Philip, “I’d been told that I was going to have to have my foot taken off and because I have a metal plate in my ankle it would have meant amputating at the knee. I’m a self-employed mechanic and driver so losing part of a leg would have had a tremendous effect on my life.”

Specialist Podiatrist, Nicola Murphy, who has been treating him for his diabetic foot ulcer, suggested putting Philip forward for the trial. “Philip had the ulcer for over a year and even though we were doing all we could to help it heal it just wouldn’t. I didn’t want him to lose his foot so I suggested the trial to him.

Diabetes Research Nurse, Mymy Del Rosario who managed the trial was very pleased with the outcome. “I’m so happy he agreed to take part in the study, particularly as he has a fear of needles and we needed to take his blood weekly. His trial participation has not only healed his wound, but it has greatly benefited his quality of life. It couldn’t have gone better.”

Philip continues to attend the diabetic foot clinic on a regular basis to ensure any other ulcers which develop are treated accordingly. The Trust is now doing a post-trial evaluation and has just identified its first patient who will be treated with the patch as part of standard care.

Dr Ryan D’Costa, the study’s Principle Investigator at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The results of this clinical trial speak for themselves. Saving Mr Herbert’s foot is without doubt the best outcome we could have hoped for.

“Being involved in clinical research is extremely important to both us as a trust and the future of medicine. It enables us to give our patients access to new treatments whilst helping to explore the development of new ones.”