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Wednesday February 24th, 2016

Posted at 9:05pm

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An innovative medical device is helping wound care patients where other treatments have been unsuccessful.

As part of an Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre trial, the geko device had initially been used to treat 13 chronic wound patients, leading to the healing of wounds that had previously lasted from months to years.

Geko is a muscle pump activator that increases blood circulation. Originally created to prevent blood clots during long airplane flights, the device can also treat patients with lower-limb wounds.

Wounds generally heal using oxygenated blood from the heart. But for some people, the blood doesn’t circulate properly causing swelling and edema.

The geko device is applied to both legs and helps stimulate blood flow using a small electrical impulse.

The trial began in May 2014 in partnership with Perfuse Medtec and the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant CCAC. The trial focused on patients who had tried other forms of wound healing without success. As a result, home visits were reduced from daily appointments to as little as two visits per week. Some patients experienced complete healing and were discharged from services altogether.

The ESC CCAC has now fully rolled out the geko program.

“At the Erie St. Clair CCAC, we look at supplies that are time and cost-effective,” said Lucy Coppola, Director, Transitional and Short Stay Services. “The geko is a unique device that is highly effective. The application is an easily teachable skill for patients comfortable with managing their own care.”

The geko is wireless, weighs only 16 grams, takes less than 60 seconds to fit, and doesn’t restrict patient mobility.

Lynn Allen of Windsor had cellulitis on one of her legs which caused a wound that still hadn’t healed after nearly four months. Then she tried the geko device. “Within a week or two I could see it working,” said Allen, who after six months of using the device, no longer needs it. “Not only did this method reduce my wound to nothing more than a mark, it also helped improve circulation in my leg overall.”

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