Thanks to the generosity of donors, through the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, Providence Care was recently able to purchase a new piece of equipment. The NESS L300 Plus is an innovative technology that utilizes functional electrical stimulation (FES). By stimulating specific muscles and nerves this equipment can be used to help patients recover from a variety of neurological conditions including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury.
Mary Jo Demers, Professional Practice Leader for Physiotherapy, explained that this equipment can be used to re-educate the muscles of both the upper and lower extremities, reduce muscle loss, maintain range of motion, and increase blood circulation. When used for the upper extremity, this electrical stimulation helps the patient to regain the grasp and release motion of the hand. By regaining this range of motion patients are better able to perform a functional task. Demers said that, “as a therapist it can be a struggle to provide full support to a patient’s arm while the patient attempts to perform a functional task, such as holding and drinking from a cup. This equipment allows the patient to hold the cup securely which allows the therapist to focus on the support and movement of the arm as a whole; this makes the therapy more meaningful for our patients”. Demers further explained that when the equipment is used for the lower extremity, it can help patients improve their walking ability. The equipment provides electrical stimulation to the lower leg and foot, and a thigh cuff is used to provide greater knee stability; this helps the patient to improve gait speed, stability, symmetry and stride, and can prevent and/or reduce falls.
“We have trained physiotherapists and occupational therapists working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings which allows us to reach a larger number of individuals requiring this style of therapeutic training”, said Mary Jo. This innovative equipment will help patients with their activities of daily living, which play an integral role in rehabilitation and recovery.
The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) is the joint fundraising arm of Providence Care and Kingston Health Sciences Centre. UHKF raises money for programs, equipment, education and research that benefit the 500,000 people in Kingston and its surrounding areas. It is because of the support and generosity of our donors that state-of-the-art equipment, like the NESS L300, can continue to be purchased to deliver state-of-the-art care.
Visit the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation website to learn how your dollars can make a difference in the future of Kingston’s hospitals.