ECP and EECP have minimal side effects. The process of inflating pressure on each heart cycle for the 60 minute treatment session each day can potentially cause some minor side effects if treatment variable are not managed carefully,
ECP and EECP Therapy side effects have been demonstrated in clinical research to be low when the appropriate diagnostic evaluation has been performed. The most common side effects to ECP and EECP therapy is tolerating high level of pressures when the cuffs are not applied correctly. If the cuffs are not sized correctly or the placed in the wrong position, patients can develop some skin irritation from the pressure. This can be easily managed with simple communication with the patient. This is a critical component to delivering effective treatment as all clinical research indicates that there is a direct correlation between pressure and the amount of blood flow driven during the diastolic phase (diastolic augmentation) of treatment. The goal of every therapist is to guide treatment so patients can tolerate a high level of pressure to create the best clinical outcome. However, the tolerance level of each patient can vary. This is where communication between the patient and the therapist is important.
Most therapists are trained to monitor certain common variable during treatment. One of the most common is patient comfort. If a patient is comfortable, then most likely there will be no bruising or skin irritation from the inflation process. Although skin irritation and bruising may occur, this can be managed fairly easily with padding and communication with the patient as to the comfort level at varying pressures.
If a patient has any discomfort, take a close look at the following items:
1. Treatment pants used by the patient
2. If bruising or skin irritation exists, use sheep skin padding tightly inside the cuffs. It is important that the wrap remains tight but the padding will relieve the patient of skin discomfort as well as reduce any bruising should it occur.
3. Make sure the area of inflation (bladder) is not directly up against bone. This can be painful plus limits the squeeze during treatment.
4. Reduce treatment pressure slightly to the comfort of the patient.
** Nearly all treatment variables with ECP & EECP Therapy are manageable by the therapist. Maintaining steady communication with the patient is the effective way to make External Counterpulsation Therapy a success.