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Efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in healing of pressure ulcers: A randomized control trial

Author(s): Gupta Anupam | Taly Arun | Srivastava Abhishek | Kumar Sendhil | Thyloth Murali

Journal: Neurology India
ISSN 0028-3886

Volume: 57;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 622;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Neurological illness | pulsed electromagnetic field | pressure ulcers

Background : Pressure ulcers are one of the most common complications in health care settings. Still there are no optimal protocols to manage the pressure ulcers. Aim : To assess the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) in healing of pressure ulcers in patients with neurological disorders. Design : Randomized double blind control trial. Setting : Neurological rehabilitation department in a university research hospital. Participants : Twelve patients (M:F, 9:3) having neurological disorders, with age between 12-50 years (mean 30.16611.32 yrs) and 24 pressure ulcers. Intervention : Six patients with 13 ulcers received PEMF therapy and the remaining 6 patients with 11 ulcers received sham treatment, for 30 sessions (45 minutes each) using the equipment ′Pulsatron′. The frequency of PEMF was set at 1 Hz with sine waves and current intensity of 30 mili ampere. Whole body exposure was given in both the groups. Outcome Measures : Bates-Jensen wound assessment tool (BJWAT) score was used as main outcome measure and scores at the end of session were compared with initial scores and analyzed. Similarly National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) scores were compared and analyzed as secondary outcome measure. Results : Thirteen ulcers were in stage IV and 11 were in stage III at the start of the study. Significant healing of ulcers was noted, BJWAT scores, in both the treatment and sham groups (P < 0.001 and 0.003 respectively) at the completion of the study. However, when comparing between the groups, healing was not significant (P = 0.361). Similarly trend was noted with NPUAP scores with no significant difference between the treatment and sham groups (P = 0.649) at the completion of study. Conclusions : No significant difference in pressure ulcer healing was observed between PEMF treatment and sham group in this study.
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