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New Wireless Equipment to Enhance Pioneering Salisbury Walking Aid 

Clinical engineers at Salisbury District Hospital have developed a more flexible wireless version of their pioneering Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS®) walking aid which has transformed the lives of thousands of people with neurological conditions such as stroke or multiple sclerosis.

Professor  Ian Swain, Clinical Director at the National Clinical Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Centre at Salisbury District Hospital said:

“A common problem for people with these neurological conditions is difficulty in lifting the foot properly when they want to take a step. The ODFS® uses electrical impulses to stimulate paralysed nerves and muscles through electrodes placed on the leg that lift and tilt the foot. These are linked to a control box on the belt and a pressure pad in the shoe, which turns the stimulator on at the correct time to enable a more normal walking action.”

“The new wireless version takes away the wires that run between the foot switch and the control box making it even more convenient and easier to use.”

Professor Swain added: “Our equipment mimics signals that would once have come from the brain and this has helped so many people that have had problems walking because of a stroke,  or other neurological conditions that affect leg and arm movement.”

The standard ODFS®  Pace model is already available and now people who prefer the flexibility of a wireless version can upgrade their existing model. There is a charge which goes towards the cost of  the additional equipment.

Professor Swain said: “Over the years we have continued to develop and produce a wide range of electrical devices which have improved the quality of life for so many people. This really is an exciting development which once again highlights the innovation and skills of the clinical engineers and scientists here in Salisbury.“

The team are part of Odstock Medical Limited, a company owned by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, which has treated over 4,500 people and sells its products to 14 countries around the world.

The money generated is used to further research, improve existing aids and develop new products that benefit NHS patients.

More information about the clinical services, training or equipment can be found at: . More information on the research activities of the Centre can be found at  Ends

Notes to Editors:

1. The Salisbury scientists have been in the forefront of research into FES since the department was established in 1982,  researching and developing their own  pioneering devices that have helped thousands of people worldwide.

2. FES, is the application of electrical impulses that help improve walking and hand/arm function for people with a wide range of neurological conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord, such as Stroke, MS, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord and Head Injury.

3. This national service is one of the largest in Western Europe and patients travel to Salisbury from throughout the UK.

4. As well as developing new techniques, staff in the FES Centre are involved in the design and production of equipment. They also provide staff training, with over 2, 500 staff, mainly physiotherapists, having been trained in FES techniques over the years.

For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler,
Public Relations Manager,
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Tel: 01722 425170

Page Last Updated: 08/05/2014 10:06 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website