November 2019, Wounds UK, Harrogate, UK
Two symposia at the Wounds UK conference in Harrogate in November 2019, outlined how Accel-Heal®, a single use, portable, easy-to-use electrical stimulation device can improve clinical practice.
Dr Leanne Atkin opened the proceedings describing that the evidence is clear that compression therapy improves the healing of venous leg ulcers (VLU). However, this treatment is not always possible as wound pain, experienced by as many as 65% of chronic wound patients, can make compression intolerable.
Dr Robin Martin went on to describe the clinical and scientific evidence behind the mode of action of Accel-Heal. Every cell in the human body is finely tuned to tiny electrical stimuli. This includes the cells in a chronic wound bed which can be stimulated into ‘healing’ behaviours when treated with electrical stimulation. One important discovery was that Accel-Heal dampened down the expression of several genes linked with wound pain and inflammation. Added to this, is the clinical observation that treatment with Accel-Heal reduced wound pain by 63%, further evidence of its pain-relieving effect.
Tracey Dermody, a primary care tissue viability nurse proceeded to describe a case study showing that where drugs fail to control wound pain, electrical stimulation devices like Accel-Heal may be useful. In a patient with a challenging VLU of 10 years duration, treatment with a fentanyl patch, pregabalin, amitriptyline and tramadol left the patient feeling drowsy but did not relieve the wound pain enough to allow compression to be used. This patient was treated with Accel-Heal. Soon after treatment, their wound began to show signs of healing and pain was reduced, meaning 3-layer compression could now be applied. The patient’s wound eventually went on to heal.
Relief of wound pain brings a host of benefits. The most obvious is better patient well-being, but equally important is to reduce pain enough to enable patients to tolerate important wound treatments that will help to bring about healing and free them from their chronic wound. Accel-Heal may be of benefit by not only kick-starting wound healing but also by relieving wound pain, enabling other wound treatments to be used.
For the report outlining the content of the symposium please click here.