Ultrasound, e-stim healing effects 'equal'

High-frequency ultrasound and high-voltage monophasic pulsed current are comparable approaches when treating pressure ulcers in older people, according to a study by Polish researchers.

A multidisciplinary team studied treatments in 77 patients ages 60 to 95 with category II, III and IV pressure ulcers. They received either ultrasound or electrical stimulation once a day, five days a week.

After six weeks, researchers found that those who received ultrasound treatment or electrical stimulation along with standard wound care saw a significantly greater reduction in pressure ulcer surface area versus a control group.

Though international guidelines call for use of ultrasound and stimulation on chronic and recurrent pressure ulcers, the team wanted to better understand what methodology would accelerate wound closure in older patients.

According to an article in December's Journal of Wound Care, the ultrasound and stimulation groups were not statistically significantly different regarding treatment results. But more of those receiving electrical stimulation saw their wounds shrink by at least 50% than in the control group.