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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2001 Sep;30(3):195-7.

Acceleration of pressure ulcer healing in spinal cord injured patients using interrupted direct current.

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Physiotherapy Department, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of interrupted direct current (IDC) in augmenting routine nursing care in spinal cord injured (SCI) patients with pressure ulcers. Seven SCI patients aged 21 - 60 years (x = 43.8, S.D. = 13.9) with grade IV pressure ulcers were randomly assigned to either a group receiving routine nursing care plus IDC stimulations or a group receiving routine nursing care plus placebo IDC. Patients in both groups received 45 minutes treatment thrice weekly for 4 weeks, and had their pressure ulcers measured for surface area on day 0, at 2 weeks and at 4 weeks of the study using standard method. Percentage changes in surface area were calculated for the two groups at the different time frames. Ulcers in the IDC group had 22.2% reduction in surface area while those in the placebo IDC group had a 2.6% reduction in surface area. The reduction in size was most evident in the first two weeks of the study. The results indicate that IDC stimulation may be used in conjunction with routine nursing care to accelerate healing of grade IV pressure ulcers in SCI injured patients.

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