The WOCN Society 40th Annual Conference (June 21-25th, 2008)
The combined effect of electrical stimulation and local heat on healing of chronic wounds
HyeJin Suh, Loma Linda University, DPT, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, Tina Yu, Loma Linda Univeristy Medical Center, Research Intern, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, Jerrold Petrofsky, Loma Linda University, PhD, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, Patrick Moore, Loma Linda Univeristy Medical Center, RCP, RRT, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, and Takkin Lo, Loma Linda Univeristy Medical Center, MD, MPH, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350.
Purpose: Electrical stimulation (ES) and local heat have been used as adjuncts for wound care over the years; however the beneficial effects have been controversial. The purpose of this study is to determine if a chronic wound heals faster by using a combination of local heat and ES. Methods: 10 subjects in the age range of 21 to 79 years with chronic ulcers received ES treatment three times a week for 4 weeks. The average age was 43.4+/- 20.4 years, average duration of the wound was 34.2+/-25.6 months, average wound area was 7.4+/-1.4 cm2, and the average wound volume was 10.9+/-3.4 cm3. A heat lamp was used before and during ES to keep the wound warm (98.6°F). ES was applied for 30 minutes with biphasic sine wave stimulation at a frequency of 30 Hertz, pulse width 250 microseconds, and a current of about 20 mA. Skin blood flow (BF) in and around the wound was measured with a Laser Doppler Flow Imager throughout the treatments. Wound size was measure prior to each treatment. A T-test was used for analysis with the level of significance of p<0.05. Results: The average wound area significantly decreased by 66.2+/-32.6% (p=0.06) and wound volume decreased by 64.5+/-26.0 % ( p=0.23). BF showed good healing in the wound throughout the study. BF increased with ES, while the addition of local heat further increased BF. Conclusion: ES and local heat for chronic wounds in this preliminary study shows a positive trend towards statistical significance.