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Improved Oxygen Bath To Heal Wounds, Lessen Number Of Amputations: Sandia To,,Sign Agreement With Numotech To Help Create Home-Use Healing Facility

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--In the presence of wheelchair-bound Bill "Willie" Shoemaker--America's winningest jockey until he suffered a severe spinal injury in an auto accident in 1991--representatives of the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories signed a $5.76 million cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Northridge, California-based Numotech, Inc., a company that conducts research about wounds and then designs new treatments.

The CRADA, signed in mid-June, engages Sandia researchers to develop inexpensive sensors and lightweight pumps to simplify operation of Numotech's unique oxygen-bath system for healing wounds, pressure sores, and pressure ulcers--quickly and with reduced scarring.

The product--helpful to the elderly, paraplegics, diabetics, and victims of burns and severe abrasions--should be available for home use in approximately three years. The treatment, called Topical Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (THOT), involves surrounding the injured part with a plastic bag filled with a slightly higher percentage of oxygen than the atmosphere provides, and at a slightly higher pressure. Towards this end,Numotech is contributing $1.51 million in cash to Sandia and $3.9 million in in-kind contributions. The remaining money is overhead and depreciation waived by DOE.

Among those attending the CRADA signing, in addition to Shoemaker, were Sandia executive vice-president John Crawford; Numotech president Dr. Robert Felton; technique discoverer and developer Dr. Madelene Heng, a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and Chief of Dermatology at the Veterans Administration Center in Sepulveda, Calif.; and Michael Kleinman, board member of the non-profit Los Angeles-based Paralysis Project of America, which advances spinal research.

Pressure Ulcers May Cause Amputation And Death

According to Shoemaker, "People with spinal cord injuries are very susceptible to skin breakdown and hence, development of
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Contact: neal singer
nsinger@sandia.gov
505-845-7078
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
16-Jun-1998


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