New clinic treats diabetic wounds, prevents amputations

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - In Toronto, more than 10,000 diabetic patients
suffer a complication of diabetes: chronic, non-healing diabetic wounds,
usually on the foot or leg. Each year, approximately 1,000 of these patients
will undergo amputation and become permanently disabled. With the opening of
the Judy Dan Wound Care Centre today, the first non-profit clinic of its kind
in Ontario, Dr. Ron Linden aims to prevent unnecessary amputations and reduce
patient suffering by treating diabetic wounds with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Located in the former Branson Hospital at 555 Finch Avenue West in Toronto,
the wound care and research centre is equipped to treat 120 patients per year.
    "Amputation due to chronic diabetic wounds is a preventable tragedy,"
says Dr. Ron Linden, CEO and medical director for Ontario Wound Care, Inc.,
the registered non-profit charitable organization that operates the centre.
"Hundreds of legs are being amputated in Ontario, whereas in other parts of
the world they are being saved through the use of hyperbaric medicine. The
Judy Dan Wound Care Centre will enable us to provide greater access to
diabetic patients with chronic wounds that are unresponsive to standard wound
care and at risk of amputation."
    During treatment, a patient relaxes in a hyperbaric chamber breathing
100% oxygen while the atmospheric pressure is increased 2-3 times normal
level. This saturates the blood with oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy heals
chronic diabetic wounds by delivering this high concentration of oxygen to the
affected tissues, enabling the cells that repair wounds and fight infection to
function. The average course of treatment runs daily for thirty sessions, each
lasting 90 minutes.
    Health Canada recognizes hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an effective
treatment for diabetic wounds and twelve other medical conditions.
Internationally, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been recognized as an effective
treatment for chronic diabetic wounds for more than twenty years, and has a
success rate of 75%.
    Eight hospitals in Canada are equipped to provide hyperbaric oxygen
therapy to a limited number of patients. Currently in Ontario, less than .1%
of diabetic patients receive specialized medical care that could prevent
amputations when standard treatment fails them. Of the 10,000 Torontonians
with diabetic wounds, less than 20 are accessing hyperbaric treatment.
    Toronto businessman and philanthropist Aubrey Dan donated $350,000 to
fund the purchase of the three state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers for the
centre, which is named in honor of his mother Judy Dan. From the age of 18,
Judy Dan struggled with the lifestyle challenges that go hand in hand with
Type 1 diabetes and endured a series of amputations prior to her death in
    "I saw the devastating impact losing a limb had on my mother's life and I
believe that hyperbaric therapy might have saved her had it been readily
available," said Aubrey Dan. "Helping others live a better life is what made
my mother happiest and that same value is the inspiration behind this facility
and the work of Dr. Linden and his team."
    Patients seeking treatment at the Judy Dan Wound Care Centre can be
referred by a specialist or their family physician, or they may self-refer to
the facility. Patients are required to undergo medical tests to determine if
they are suitable candidates for the treatment.
    According to Dr. Linden, the full cost of treating one patient in order
to save one leg, and one life is approximately $3,000. By contrast, the cost
of an amputation is $60,000. Linden estimates the Judy Dan Wound Care Centre
will prevent 90 amputations in its first year of operations, a savings of
$4.5 million in annual health care costs.
    For more information on the Judy Dan Wound Care Centre located at 555
Finch Avenue West, 2nd Floor in Toronto, call 416-223-6600 or visit

    To download a media kit and photographs visit:

For further information:

For further information: For interviews or a facility tour contact:
Karen Lorenowicz, (416) 243-0168,

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