New wound ointment derived from oak tree

Clinical data support positive anecdotal results

A wound ointment derived from oak extract is earning kudos from some wound care providers. Amerigel, manufactured by AmerX Health Care Corp. in Clearwater, FL, is formulated for application as a wound dressing for management of pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, diabetic skin ulcers, cuts, and abrasions, and for skin irritation associated with peristomal care, according to the manufacturer.

One ET nurse who uses Amerigel told Wound Care that the ointment has sped the healing of many intractable wounds. "The first time I used it, I saw a wound bed fill up with granulation tissue in four days," says Carolyn Hewett, RN, CETN, co-owner of the Specialty Care Center at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, FL.

In addition to many positive anecdotal results for Amerigel, there also are some clinical data from a study sponsored by the manufacturer. The study involved 152 patients, 72 of whom had stage I wounds and 80 who had stage II, III, or IV wounds. Twenty-one patients had multiple wounds.

All the stage I wounds healed with no sequelae. Eighty-eight percent of stage II wounds healed in an average of 46 days, 62% of stage II wounds healed in an average of 54 days, and 16% of stage IV wounds healed in an average of 52 days. The manufacturers claim that Amerigel acts to increase blood flow to a wound.

According to Amerigel users, a small percentage of patients can’t tolerate the burning sensation that occurs when the ointment is applied.

Amerigel is an over-the-counter product that costs about $15 retail. The cost is lower when the product is purchased through medical supply distributors.