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December 23, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;230(12):1623-1631. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240120005003

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Electrical stimulation reduces complications after surgery  Electrical stimulation of 20 to 40 milliamps applied directly to the skin as close as possible to the surgical wound has dramatically reduced the incidence of postoperative atelectasis and ileus, says a group of Minneapolis investigators."Although many conflicting statements have appeared in the literature in the past ten years about the effects of electrical stimulation," says Alan C. Hymes, MD, of Methodist Hospital, Minneapolis, "there has been general agreement that electrical stimulation reduces pain and allows people to relax."So, about two and one-half years ago, we decided to try it in an acute painful situation—surgery."The investigators have been running two types of studies. Study I, which is now completed, compared patients who received electrical stimulation after surgery to similar retrospective controls— patients who had had surgery at a previous time when electrical stimulation was not being used.Study II, a