Patient story #3, Sheila: “PLASOMA, against all odds, healed my wound and prevented amputation.”

Interview 5 July 2022

Patient Sheila MacLeod and Monique van Gerwen, wound and pressure ulcer consultant at Máxima MC in Veldhoven talk about the poorly healing surgical wound after amputation of a toe. Amputation of the foot or lower leg was advised to prevent further infection. As a last resort, PLASOMA cold plasma was used. Successfully: the wound healed within 8 weeks.

Monique van Gerwen: “I saw with my own eyes that PLASOMA can deliver a success story.”

Photo taken on July 4, 2022, 57 days after the start of PLASOMA cold plasma treatment. (April 7, 2022)

How a small crack can turn into disaster…

“As a side effect of chemotherapy, I have quite bad neuropathy on the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands. In the beginning of July, 2021 I got a tiny little scratch on the 2nd toe on my left foot. The skin was just a little bit broken, no blood. I started wearing sandals, because I thought it would reduce pressure and friction in this area. This was a big mistake. The sandals were new and made from hard leather. Within an hour the leather went through the skin. The wound wasn’t healing, I put disinfectant creams on it. After 3 weeks I went for help to my GP, and unfortunately the seriousness of my condition was not recognized. I have an immune system disorder (antiphospholipid syndrome) with an increased risk of blood clots. In addition, I have Lupus (SLE = Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), which is an autoimmune disease. For this I take medicines that increase the risk of infections and that’s why I do not heal easily. The wound went from bad to worse. Through my rheumatologist and a vascular surgeon I eventually came into contact with another vascular surgeon, from Máxima MC Veldhoven. He said that this wound was not going to heal and he amputated the toe mid-January 2022. Unfortunately, this surgical wound also did not close on its own. And I could use all the help there was to prevent the next stage which an infection would trigger: amputation of lower leg or foot.”

“I knew PLASOMA was my last hope for a ‘normal’ life.”

“I am not fit, I am not even fit enough to walk on crutches. I knew PLASOMA was my last hope for a ‘normal’ life. I can’t imagine the burden an amputation would put on my husband. It would be very hard and difficult for him to help me if I am in a wheelchair. So I decided against amputation. An amputation would only be used to save my life. The vascular surgeon who amputated the toe decided to use PLASOMA. Wound consultant Monique started PLASOMA cold plasma treatment and after the second treatment I already saw improvement. After five treatments, the wound was almost closed, which was amazing. In 8 weeks the wound was completely closed.”

“Now that my left leg has been spared, a walk in the park has taken on a whole new significance for me. I have my independence back, which is a miracle for me. With all I have gone through, with all the means, creams, wound treatments I’ve had for months, it’s very special that PLASOMA cold plasma treatment had visible effect within 2-3 weeks. I am very impressed with the treatment.”

“A granny without a leg is not so much fun”

“What I missed most was my independence. To go anywhere my husband had to take me. I would feel myself a burden, contribute nothing, life is not worth living like that. Now that the wound is closed I feel like I have my life back. I can drive a car, go on holiday abroad, look after my grandchildren – things I used to take for granted. My family is very happy, because a granny without a leg is not so much fun.”

Wound consultant Monique gets the opportunity to try PLASOMA in a few case studies. She is positive about the results:

Monique: “I am very critical, also with new treatment methods. I saw with my own eyes that PLASOMA can deliver a success story. That will not be for everyone. Fortunately, the wound closed with Sheila, with only 6 PLASOMA cold plasma treatments. Another patient did not get what we hoped for, we could not save his leg. Based on two patients I cannot draw any far-reaching conclusions. In my opinion, PLASOMA can certainly be an additional tool to boost long-term wounds. Especially for difficult wounds it is nice that we have an extra tool. And it is good that scientifically substantiated evidence is being worked on through clinical studies with PLASOMA.”

Are you a wound care professional and would you like to learn about PLASOMA? Request this and other case studies or e-mail us if you have any questions:

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Sheila MacLeod in the park, she looks happy
Sheila MacLeod about PLASOMA cold plasma treatment