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Low frequency pulsed current and pressure ulcer healing

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9 Author(s)
Jercinovic, A. ; Lab. of Biocybernetics, Ljubljana Univ., Slovenia ; Karba, R. ; Vodovnik, L. ; Stefanovska, A.
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In spite of the extensive clinical work reported in the area of electrical wound healing, electrical stimulation to augment chronic wound repair is still far from being widely accepted in clinical practice. Problems in designing clinical studies (size of the sample observed, control group, ethics of the procedure), evaluating treatment efficacy, rationales for use of the treatment, and unknown underlying mechanisms contribute to the aforementioned fact. In the present study, the authors evaluated low frequency electrical current for its beneficial effects in pressure ulcer management. Seventy-three spinal cord injured patients with 109 pressure ulcers participated in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to a control group receiving conventional treatment of their ulcers, or to a stimulation group, in which the ulcers were additionally treated with low frequency pulsed current. A comparison of the two groups showed significantly higher average healing rate for the stimulated group. Patients from the control group had the opportunity of crossing over to the stimulation group after the required control period of four weeks. This group (the crossover group) was analyzed separately. In all but one ulcer out of 20, an improvement in the healing process was observed after electrical stimulation was initiated

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Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )