Silver-Collagen Dressing and High-Voltage Pulsed Current Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Full-Thickness Wounds: A Case Series


Physical Therapy

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Ostomy Wound Management

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Research suggests high-voltage, pulsed-current electric therapy (HVPC) is safe and effective for treating chronic wounds, and some data suggest silver- and collagen-based dressings may facilitate healing. A combination therapy utilizing both HVPC and silver-collagen dressing may present clinical advantages. To explore the effect of the combined therapy for chronic full-thickness wounds, a prospective, consecutive case series study was conducted. All participants were adults with wounds of at least 6 weeks' duration. After obtaining informed consent, patient and wound characteristics were obtained, wounds were assessed and measured, and patients received 2 to 3 HVPC treatments per week followed by application of the silver- and collagen-based dressing for a period of 2 weeks. Data were analyzed descriptively, and changes in wound size and volume from baseline were analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. The dressings were saturated with normal saline, used simultaneously during the 45-minute HVPC treatment, and left on top of the wound after treatment. The HVPC electro pads (stainless steel electrodes with a sponge interface) also were moistened with normal saline and the cathode placed on top of the wound. If the patient had more than 1 wound on the same leg, the anode was placed on the additional wound (otherwise over the intact skin nearby). Secondary dressings (eg, foam and/ or gauze) were used as clinically appropriate, and a 4-layer compression wrap was used, if indicated, for patients with venous ulcers. Ten (10) patients (3 women, 7 men, 57.30 ± 9.70 years old with 14 wounds of 273.10 ± 292.03 days' duration before study) completed the study and were included in the final analyses. Average wound surface area decreased from 13.78 ± 21.35 cm(2) to 9.07 ± 16.81 cm(2) (42.52% ± 34.16% decrease, P = 0.002) and wound volume decreased from 3.39 ± 4.31 cm(3) to 1.28 ± 2.25 cm(3) (66.84% ± 25.07% decrease, P = 0.001). One (1) patient was discharged with complete wound closure. No serious adverse events were noted, but a diagnosis of osteomyelitis in 1 patient and increased pain in a patient with significant Reynaud's syndrome suggest clinicians should be cautious using HVPC in these instances. The combined intervention utilizing both HVPC and silver-collagen dressing was effective in the treatment of chronic fullthickness wounds in this patient population. Controlled clinical studies of longer duration are needed to further explore the safety, effectiveness, and efficacy of this treatment.


case study, wounds, electrical stimulation therapy, silver, collagen, dressing