Using your own stem cells to help restore circulation

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by KING 5 HealthLink

KING5.com

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Updated Monday, May 6 at 5:57 PM

Poor circulation in the legs and feet can lead to the loss of limbs or the loss of life. Now, a new treatment could help millions of people get their blood flowing again.

Until recently Derrick Blount was unable to ride his bike.

“Being in a sitting position would greatly restrict the blood flow to my left leg,” said Blount.

Derrick has Buerger’s disease, a form of poor circulation brought on by smoking. He quit the habit and almost had to quit his job because of his leg limitations.

“Where a task that should take no more than 20 minutes, it would take me an hour and a half,” he said.

So, Derrick took part in Dr. Omaida Velazquez’s clinical trial at the University of Miami.

The doctor is taking stem cells from patients’ hip bones and injects them into their legs and feet to restore circulation.

“It is believed that these cells release some growth factors and proteins that help in regeneration of blood vessels,” Dr. Omaida Velazquez, Chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The doctor says the treatment could help millions of people with dangerous circulation problems. Derrick’s not sure if he’s getting the stem cells in the double blind study, but...

“These blood pressures are significantly improved on his left toes and clinically, almost to a miraculous level,” Dr. Velazquez explained.

Right now, the stem cells for circulation trial is recruiting participants around the country. The closest site is in Spokane at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. CLICK HERE for more information on the clinical trials.

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