“Revolutionary” sugar treatment used to treat hospital
The use of sugar to heal wounds by a University of
Wolverhampton lecturer has been hailed as “revolutionary” by a
patient who is receiving the treatment at a Birmingham
Senior Lecturer Moses Murandu grew up in
Zimbabwe and his father used granulated sugar to heal wounds and
reduce pain when he was a child. But when he moved to the UK, he
realised that sugar was not used for this purpose here.
Now he is carrying out a research trial into the effectiveness
of sugar when used on hospital patients with wounds such as bed
sores, leg ulcers and even amputations.
One of the patients receiving treatment as part of the research
is Alan Bayliss, an inpatient at Moseley Hall Hospital’s amputee
rehabilitation ward, part of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS
He underwent an above the knee amputation on his right leg due
to an ulcer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in January
2013, and as part of the surgery a vein was removed from his left
For his post-surgery rehabilitation, Mr Bayliss was moved to
Moseley Hall Hospital where standard dressings were used but the
left leg cavity wound was not healing effectively. Nurses contacted
Moses and Mr Bayliss, from Northfield in Birmingham, began
receiving the sugar treatment.
Within two weeks, the wound had drastically reduced in size and
is healing well.
Mr Bayliss, a 62-year-old electrical engineer, says: “It has
been revolutionary. The actual wound was very deep – it was almost
as big as my finger.
“When Moses first did the dressing he almost used the whole pot
of sugar, but two weeks later he only needed to use 4 or 5
“I am very pleased indeed. I feel that it has speeded up my
recovery a lot, and it has been a positive step forward. I was a
little sceptical at first but once I saw the sugar in operation and
how much it was drawing the wound out, I was impressed.”
Staff Nurse Jonathan Janneman said: “One of the main benefits
has been the morale of the patient. He could see the cavity in his
leg as well as having been unwell and through operations. But the
sugar has given something to hold on to. It is amazing that
something as simple as sugar has given him a morale boost - the
psychological benefit is up there with the physical benefits. The
patient is ecstatic with the results.”
Moses Murandu is halfway through a randomised control trial at
three West Midlands hospitals – Moseley Hall, the QE Hospital and
Manor Hospital in Walsall - into the effects of the sugar
treatment. So far 35 patients have successfully received the
treatment, with no adverse effects reported.
The treatment works because bacteria need water to grow, so
applying sugar to a wound draws the water away and starves the
bacteria of water. This prevents the bacteria from multiplying and
Moses, a Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at the University of
Wolverhampton’s School of Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is very
pleasing for me to see the results, especially now that the nurses
are able to take over and administer the treatment after I have
made the initial assessment, and also that the patients are
experiencing the benefits.
“I believe in the sugar and the nurses and doctors who see the
effects are beginning to believe in it too. I’d like to thank the
University and the School of Health and Wellbeing for their support
and also the patients for taking part.”
Moses Murandu studied Registered General Nursing in Lesotho and
did midwifery in Cape Town, South Africa. He also worked in
Atlanta, Georgia, before coming to the UK to work at the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and undertook a Masters degree at
Birmingham University, supported by Professor Colette Clifford. As
well as lecturing at the University of Wolverhampton, he is
currently studying for a doctorate at Birmingham supported by Dr
Carol Dealey and Dr Tom Marshall.
Note: Moses Murandu and Alan Bayliss are
available for photographs and interview by arrangement. Please
contact the University of Wolverhampton’s Media Relations Office on
01902 322736 or the BCHC press office on 0121 466 7281.
Date Issued: Thursday 14 February 2013