Is Electrical Stimulation is Bringing Wound Care into the Future, or is this a Dated Pastime?

As a medical device manufacturer, we are always staying abreast of the newest trends and latest developments in wound care. When we saw this study that was done on Electrical Stimulation and Wound Care, we had to get some more information. Can you shock a wound into healing with electrical stimulation?

Researchers at the University of Manchester wanted to test this theory so they carried out a study with 40 participants where they created half-centimeter wounds on each of the participant’s upper arms.

One group was left to heal normally, while the other group had their wounds treated with electrical pulses over a period of two weeks, according to the study published last month in the journal PLOS ONE.

The pulses were found to stimulate the process through which new blood vessels form, also known as angiogenesis. This resulted in increased blood flow to the wound site and a significantly faster healing time, according to a release from the University.

“This research has shown the effectiveness of electrical stimulation in wound healing, and therefore we believe this technology has the potential to be applied to any situation where faster wound healing is particularly desirable, such as following human or veterinary surgical wounds, accidental, or military trauma and in sports injuries,” said Dr. Ardeshir Bayat, the lead researcher. “With this technology we hope to make a significant functional contribution to healing the wounds and getting the patient back to full health as quickly as possible.”

But is technology like this, the way to go? Or should clinicians rely on proven methods to help patients suffering with chronic wounds? Gayle Jameson, Director of Clinical Nursing for Devon Medical Products said that this type of technology is nothing new.

“This technology has been used for many years,” Jameson said. “Merely covering a difficult wound with a dressing is no longer acceptable treatment. Difficult wounds require active wound treatment, such as that provided by our extriCARE™ NPWT system.”

Every year, the National Health Service, the healthcare provider in the UK, spends about 1 billion dollars total on treating all types of chronic wounds including diabetic ulcers, according to recent statistics.

They estimate that some 200,000 patients in the UK suffer from a chronic wound, which is defined as remaining open and failing to heal for longer than six weeks.

In a retrospective study that was done and published in the March issue of Wounds, a peer-reviewed journal focused on wound care and wound research, the authors analyzed 114 patients who had received NPWT for their chronic pressure ulcers. The study found that patients that received NPWT showed evidence of successful wound healing.

“Negative pressure wound therapy works well to manage wound exudates and promote granulation tissue formation in large, deep wounds such as the stage III and IV pressure ulcers included in this study,” the authors’ wrote.

New technologies are something to always be embraced but more and more as the study in Wounds suggests, negative pressure wound therapy is still the most successful option when healing chronic wounds.

For more information on how the extriCARE system can benefit you, call us today at 866-446-0092.

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