Evidence & Practice
Using electroceutical treatment to reduce symptoms and improve healing in chronic wounds
Elizabeth Mary Ovens Independent tissue viability nurse, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, England
Chronic inflammation in a wound is often associated with infection and biofilm, which are linked to raised matrix metalloproteinases (elevated protease activity [EPA]) and reduced cell production along with growth hormones in the wound bed. This causes persistent challenges to healthcare professionals and increases the costs of wound management; the related symptoms also affect the quality of life (QoL) of patients living with wounds that are hard to heal.
Electrical energy known as the ‘current of injury’ is required to assist in tissue repair. It allows different cell types, such as white blood cells, growth factors, enzymes and fibroblasts, into the wound to allow for stimulation of cell proliferation and collagen synthesis. In chronic wounds, the current of injury becomes disrupted due to biofilms, infection and unhealthy tissue in the wound bed. This prevents the wound from going through normal physiological healing.
Use of electrical stimulation and electroceutical treatment effectively restores the current of injury, expediting normal healing and reducing chronic inflammation, biofilms, infection and associated symptoms, such as pain and high exudate. Clinical outcomes and QoL are improved and there are also economic benefits.
Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2017.e1277Correspondence
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Received: 07 February 2016
Accepted: 16 March 2017
Published online: 16 June 2017