Tom Drury, CEO Today’s growing elderly population and the increasing number of surgeries demand a new outlook in wound care. Further fueling this need is the concomitant rise in chronic ulcers and post-amputation wounds.
On the bright side, science and advanced technologies have arrived on the wound care scene with the promise of healing wounds better and faster. Wound care experts are toying with new materials and approaches to free people from chronic wounds. At the time when the call for advanced wound care products has reached a fever pitch, the market needs products that create an optimal physiological environment around a wound to promote skin and tissue regeneration.
Hydrofera has perfected the science and art of developing groundbreaking wound care products using novel materials for quick and complete wound healing. The company’s polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)- based foam products contribute to an optimal physiological environment both inside and around a wound to promote the growth of new cells. Applicable to acute and chronic wounds, the company’s safe, biocompatible products are suitable for patients of all ages.
At the core, the company’s wound dressing products prevent, control, and eliminate infection in the wound—a challenge that keeps doctors, nurses, and patients awake in the night. The products wick exudate and debris from the wound bed, improving epithelialization in a multifaceted, non-toxic healing environment. “Over the years, I have seen many patients and doctors feeling amazed with our products’ ability to heal wounds that were previously unhealable,” says Tom Drury, CEO of Hydrofera.
Often, the wound dressing process is tedious for doctors and nurses, whereas Hydrofera’s foam takes only minutes to apply, and in a manner that is less painful to the patient as well. Another unique factor of the innovation is its color-changing ability that indicates if a dressing needs to be replaced. Hydrofera Blue CLASSIC can be used for 72 hours. The non-cytotoxic antibacterial foam, when applied to a wound bed, quickens the healing process by pulling germs and pathogens away from the body and into the sponge where they are eliminated by the gentile germicides bound to the foam. “We have had zero adverse reactions in our entire history, which also shows the safety of our products,” states Drury. Such value has aided insurers, payers, and patients in alleviating the unnecessary burden that they have been experiencing in their own ways for many decades.
The Road to Discovery
Hydrofera has a royal lineage, aka blue blood, of sorts. The reason: the conceptual product idea took birth when two healthcare science enthusiasts and industry veterans came together to solve one of the most crucial problems of the modern world—safety of the world’s blood supply. It was the time when new, deadly pathogens, including superbugs, made their presence felt. Dr. Edward Shanbrom, world-renowned blood and plasma sterilization expert, was on a mission to come up with an improvement on his solvent/detergent-based blood sterilization method to combat the new pathogens. Meanwhile, Drury was looking for an additive material to improve the properties of Hydrofera’s PVA foam to pack sinuses in the nasal cavity post-surgery. As iodine was the premier decontaminator used during those times, Shanbrom was using it to decontaminate blood, and then remove the iodine using Drury’s foam. The foam acted to capture both the iodine and pathogens yielding sterile whole blood.
With our CLASSIC and READY products, patients can complete their healing process from the safety of their homes, forgoing the need for surgical site procedures
The initial results would go on to highlight a significant issue— the damage of the more fragile red blood cells by iodine. Ultimately, the team decided to replace iodine with two organic pigments, Gentian Violet and Methylene Blue (GV/ MB), which Dr. Shanbrom had used to prevent and treat skin and throat infections for GIs in the Pacific Theater during World War II. With these pigments, Dr. Shanbrom was able to sterilize blood while retaining over 98 percent of RBC—a testament to their non-cytotoxicity. Participating in the experiments, Drury adopted these pigments into the sponge dressing products, which changed the fortune of Drury and many patients, nurses, and doctors forever.
In 2003, Hydrofera had its first major breakthrough and this led to the release of a unique dressing under the Hydrofera Blue CLASSIC banner that included a new range of solutions for more diverse wounds. The products were extensively tested for feasibility and healing properties prior to their sanctioning for medical utilization across hospitals and medical care centers. While the initial testing was done for nosebleeds and sinus cavity operations, over the years, Hydrofera, by working alongside physicians, has found multiple avenues where its products can fill the gaps. For example, necrotizing fasciitis (a flesh-eating disease) and pyoderma gangrenosum (an autoimmune condition). “We have been delivering our products since 2003 and have served millions of patients with varying wound conditions, including those with deep tunnels,” states Drury.
Community recognition is a key factor for the growth of any organization. Hydrofera began its venture by sending its products to two hospitals in Connecticut where physicians and caregivers had the first-hand experience of this wound healing innovation. With overwhelming positive feedback on Hydrofera Blue CLASSIC’s ability to heal previously unhealable abrasions and infections, the wound care solution specialist has never looked back ever since.
Drury couldn’t be prouder of the company’s products that have been the center of attraction for care providers. Since its inception, many doctors have tested the company’s products on several types of wounds in different care settings and have penned their findings in formal reports. Rarely is a proprietary product so heartfully received by the user community, a trait common with open source solutions. “In fact, care providers were acting as algorithms for us, trying various combinations for a successful wound care scenario for acute and chronic ailments,” explains Drury.
In one instance, an Organic Chemist discovered the natural negative pressure caused by capillary flow action in Hydrofera Blue CLASSIC, which made the product act as a typical mechanical vacuum machine. The dressing’s natural autolytic debridement property and negative pressure also pull in essential nutrients and liquids into the wound. This mechanism aided in softening the dead skin and clearing the scars left after the healing process is complete. As lesions have to be cleaned, especially with chronic wounds, the negative pressure and debridement mechanisms allow patients to avoid surgeries for removing the excess 15
scab formation from the wound bed. “With our CLASSIC and READY products, patients can complete their healing process from the safety of their homes, forgoing the need for surgical site procedures,” elucidates Drury.
A retrospective study conducted on over 30,000 patients in Canada revealed improvement in the mean healing time for patients treated with a comprehensive wound prevention and care program based on integrated care bundles (ICBs) in combination with Hydrofera’s products. The study demonstrated that Hydrofera’s products can be fully integrated into a comprehensive wound management program where they can serve as a valuable clinical tool for rapid, substantial, and predictable reductions in wound healing times. The 6,300-patient study treated with Hydrofera’s products had their mean healing time shortened more than 50 percent compared to patients not on an ICB using Hydrofera. The average cost of patient care was reduced by more than 75 percent. Further, when compared to other advanced dressings on an ICB, Hydrofera reduced healing time by 7 days and nursing costs by 24 percent.
“Over the years, I have seen many patients and doctors feeling amazed with our products’ ability to heal wounds that were previously unhealable”
Drury’s interest in developing new products with enhanced capabilities has led to new innovations. “Hydrofera kind of reinvents itself every two to three years, and we now have a very talented group of young scientists and regulatory specialists to push it along,” informs Drury. The team, led by COO John O’Gara, developed the latest offering Hydrofera Blue READY-Border, which is designed as an external dressing for chronic ulcers, post-surgical incisions, and external wounds inflicted by trauma. The product has broad-spectrum antibacterial protection, seven-day wear time, and does not require hydration prior to application. Its silicone adhesive border offers a gentle and secure hold, while having atraumatic removal capabilities. The other new product, Hydrofera Blue READY-Transfer antibacterial foam dressing, helps manage bioburden with its non-cytotoxic capabilities. With no hydration, the product transfers exudate into secondary absorbent dressings at a high rate in partial and full-thickness wounds.
Having laid the groundwork, Hydrofera continues its research to test its products further in patients with underlying skin conditions and wounds. In one early trial, Hydrofera encountered the case of a three-year-old child who had an advanced case of pyoderma gangrenosum. The parents of the child were informed that the infected legs would have to be amputated. Hydrofera jumped into action by shipping its product to the patient’s location and initiating the treatment immediately. A few weeks later, the hospital reported positive signs, and in a few weeks, amputation was completely ruled out—thanks to Hydrofera Blue CLASSIC. “It’s cases like this that drive us every day,” comments Drury.
Beyond Legacy Methodologies
Currently, Hydrofera is working alongside overseas partners to deliver its products across the globe. “We are collaborating with companies similar to Hydrofera that are committed to a new line of healing in the treatment of the varied maladies that exist in many countries: South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and more,” says Drury. O’Gara’s team continues to conduct multiple studies to speed up the innovation process. It is currently carrying out several tests across the globe. “Right now, we’re chasing down treatment for Buruli ulcers and treating animals injured in the fires in Australia,” adds Drury.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in place, patients and caretakers are required to stay home as much as possible to avoid the hospital setting. In such a scenario, the Hydrofera Blue product offerings are seen as the perfect “do-it-yourself” kit for their simplicity, effectiveness, and ready-to-use nature.
Hydrofera has a team of specialists with extensive experience in the domain to bring new products at a lower cost to address the evolving needs of the industry. The aim is to cater to the needs of the global care community and save more lives.
Description Hydrofera provides advanced PVA-based wound care products that not only accelerate the healing process but also save cost and pave the way for better living. At the core, the company’s wound dressing products prevent, control, and eliminate infection in the wound—a challenge that keeps doctors, nurses, and patients awake in the night. The products wick exudate and debris from the wound bed, improving epithelialization in a multifaceted, non-toxic healing environment. Often, the wound dressing process is tedious for doctors and nurses, whereas Hydrofera’s foam takes only minutes to apply, and in a manner that is less painful to the patient as well
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