Poor circulation in the legs and feet can lead to the loss of limbs, or even the loss of life. Now, a new treatment is being introduced that could help millions of people get their blood flowing.
Until recently Derrick Blount was unable to ride his bike due to a medical condition he has known as Has Buerger’s Disease.
Blount says riding was so difficult "because being in a sitting position would greatly restrict the blood flow to my left leg."
Has Buerger’s Disease is a form of poor blood circulation brought on by smoking. Even though he quit the habit, he almost had to quit his job at an art gallery because of leg limitations.
"Where a task like this should take no more than 20 minutes, it would take me an hour and a half,” said Blount.
Blount took part in a stem cell clinical trial at the University of Miami by Dr. Omaida Velazquez seeking some relief.
Dr. Velazquez is conducting a double blind study in which half the participants have stem cells taken from their hip bones and injected into their feet and legs, the other half is not injected with stem cells.
"It is believed that these cells release some growth factors and proteins that help in regeneration of blood vessels,” said Dr. 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 like Peripheral Arterial Disease. Although Blount is not sure if he’s getting the stem cells
Although Blount is not sure if he’s getting the stem cells or not, Dr. Velazquez says “These blood pressures are, um, very significantly improved on his left toes, um, and clinically, almost to a miraculous level."
Right now, the stem cells for circulation trial is recruiting participants around the country.