Attendees at the recent Charing Cross Symposium in London had the opportunity to hear Leanne Atkin, Vascular Nurse Consultant from Yorkshire (pictured), present on EpiFix as a credible option for hard to heal venous ulcers.
As part of her presentation, Leanne spoke about “The Challenge of Tracy”. Tracy has lived with a chronic leg ulcer for most of her adult life. She is a healthy non-smoker, without Diabetes or any other pre-existing medical conditions. However, at the age of 20, a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) suffered during her first pregnancy left Tracy with daily pain and silvery, paper-thin skin on her left ankle. A later knock to this ankle caused a small cut that took up to 12 weeks to heal and left Tracy with more intense pain and even more delicate skin.
Tracy was put on lifelong anti-coagulated therapy but after the birth of her second child, another knock to the ankle left her with an infected ulcer. The infection caused the wound to increase in size from a pin pick to a 50 pence piece. This was the start of a long and painful journey for Tracy on the road to recovery, including 40-50mmHG compression and a deep venous bypass – neither of which achieved long-lasting wound closure.
Regen Medical first heard Tracy’s story when she spoke alongside Leanne at the Woundcare Today conference in June 2018, where her own words brought many people in the audience to tears. Tracy has suffered with the pain, related complications and side effects of this ulcer since 2003 and when reflecting on this incredibly traumatic 15 year period of her life, she said “I am upset about the life I could have had, the career I should have had and for the person that I should have been. I always thought I would be somebody and achieve something in life but I feel like I have had that opportunity stolen away. I hate feeling self-conscious, disabled and unattractive and I hate that this leg ulcer has taken away my self-confidence.”
Inspired by that presentation, Regen Medical approached Leanne and Tracy about EpiFix®, an innovative product that is new to the UK. Once satisfied with the patient safety record and with the support of the Regen Medical Team and Dr William Tettelbach, MiMedx Physician and author of the 2018 clinical paper titled “EpiFix demonstrated superior healing rates in DFUs vs. SOC – a level 1 study” Leanne decided to try using EpiFix on Tracy’s ulcer.
Watch Leanne and Tracy’s share their experience of EpiFix in their own words:
What is EpiFix®?
EpiFix is a dehydrated Human Amnion / Chorion Membrane (dHACM) Allograft which is composed of multiple layers including a single layer of epithelial cells, a basement membrane and an avascular connective tissue matrix. It contains multiple extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors and cytokines to provide a barrier membrane that enhances healing, modulates inflammation and reduces scar tissue formation.
Despite being new to the UK, MiMedx who manufacture EpiFix have distributed over one million allografts to date, with zero reported adverse reactions.
Travelling regularly to the UK from the US to speak at industry events and meet with UK clinicians, Dr Tettelbach stresses that EpiFix should be reserved for chronic, hard to heal wounds and that in all wounds, adequate sharp debridement is imperative as wound bed preparation is key. In his study, Dr Tettelbach found that patients were 3 x more likely to heal at 12 weeks with adequate debridement, even without the use of EpiFix. However, for chronic hard to heal wounds, EpiFix offers significantly higher rates of complete wound closure over a 14 -16 week period than standard of care (SOC) alone.