How Accel-Heal can help to take the pain out of wound healing

It was standing room only at Accel-Heal’s symposium* held on Wednesday 1st May 2024, at the European Wound Management Association annual conference, in London. The audience packed into the auditorium to the hear how Accel-Heal, an innovative microcurrent electrical stimulation device, can help to take the pain out of wound healing.

Amelia Swift, Reader in Healthcare Professional Education at Birmingham University, opened the proceedings with an overview of how wound pain can blight the lives of people living with hard to heal wounds. As many as four in five people with venous leg ulcers have daily moderate or severe background wound pain; this can have a huge impact on daily living as it affects people’s ability to sleep, move around and can affect their mood. Pain medications don’t always work and some of them have side effects that are also unpleasant, or even dangerous to live with, for example causing drowsiness and increasing the risk of falls. Not only that but having a painful wound can make patients intolerant of accepting treatments which might in themselves be uncomfortable or painful. For example, nearly half of patients with venous leg ulcers are unable to tolerate compression therapy because of the pain or discomfort they are already experiencing.

Dr Swift went on to describe how electrical stimulation therapy (EST) is a therapy that can address these issues. High-level published evidence shows that EST can promote healing and reduce wound pain by boosting the bodies’ natural bioelectric signalling that is an essential component of the wound healing process. Not all electrical stimulation devices are the same, as they vary by the strength of the electrical signal they deliver. Current thinking supports the use of microcurrent devices in wound management for two reasons: firstly, because this level of stimulation is similar to the patient’s own bioelectrical stimulation that is missing in hard to heal wounds but secondly and most importantly, this level of stimulation is below the sensory threshold, meaning that when patients are treated with microcurrent electrical stimulation therapy they typically can’t feel any sensations from the treatment.

Accel-Heal is one such microcurrent electrical stimulation device, provided in a novel pocket-sized, discrete and easy to use format. The audience were moved to hear the first-hand testimony of a patient who had been treated with Accel-Heal. Spencer, from London, described his ordeal of living with a hard to heal wound caused by an insect bite at the age of thirteen, that went through many demoralising cycles, over many years, of fragile healing and repeated breakdown. The traditional dressings and bandages that he was given had little effect and he didn’t see any great improvement to his wound until he first used Accel-Heal. After just one 12-day application of Accel-Heal, Spencer’s wound became pain-free and he noticed that the wound itself was responding to the treatment. His wound went on to heal more robustly than when he had healed previously.

To conclude the symposium, research nurse Maria Moon described the results of a recent 20-patient evaluation carried out in patients with non-healing and painful hard to heal wound. Across this group of patients, who had their wounds on average for 12 months and whose pain was unresolved despite taking various analgesics, the average wound pain in the week before treatment commenced was 5.8 out of a maximum of 10. By the end of the treatment period, this had reduced dramatically to 3.6/10. On average, using Accel-Heal, reduced a patient’s pain score by a whole 2 points, typically reducing it down to more manageable levels, and helping patients to reduce their use of pain killers. As well as having this beneficial effect on pain, Accel-Heal also appeared to have kick-started the healing process in these wounds; during the Accel-Heal treatment period, wound area reduced by an average of 10% per week. Even after the Accel-Heal treatment period came to an end after 24-days, wound pain and wound healing both continued to improve; the time needed for half of the group to heal was 18 weeks, by which point wound pain overall had reduced to mild pain with scores of around 2/10.

As well as kick-starting the healing process, microcurrent EST devices, like Accel-Heal, may provide a valid adjunct to oral pain killers to help to reduce persistent wound pain in people with long-standing hard to heal wounds. This remarkable device might be another useful option to help put them back on the road to recovery.

To watch a recording of the symposia click here :

*Accel-Heal symposium EWMA 1st May 2024.

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