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Electrical stimulation therapy (Estim), involves the delivery of electrical current directly to the wound and/or surrounding skin at a level that would normally produce pins needles sensation. Estim is applied to the wound bed using a specialized type of current and sterile electrodes via a small, battery-operated, portable device. Estim should be applied by a regulated health care provider including Physical Therapists or Nurses who have taken advanced training in the safe and effective use of Estim. This Estim provider will design a protocol that is customized to meet the patients’ and caregivers wishes and schedules. Once set up, Estim remains in place for at least 1 hour. Treatments should be administered no fewer than 3 times per week and continue until the wound has closed completely.
There is strong clinical research evidence that Estim can accelerate closure of open skin wounds that are delayed in healing because of a number of co-existing medical conditions such as pressure injuries/ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and leg wounds due to peripheral vascular disease (venous, arterial). Estim works by replacing the electrical current that naturally speeds healing, it promotes local circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the area, it keeps the wound clean and free of bacteria, and facilitates deposition of new tissue to fill the wound and promotes recovering of the wound with new skin. An additional benefit of Estim, is that nerve stimulation by Estim can reduce pain in the wound region. Estim is often used in other countries to assist healing of many types of chronic wounds and its benefits are beginning to be known here in Canada.