Method and apparatus for treating oropharyngeal disorders with electrical stimulation

  • US 20040034396A1
  • Filed: 02/27/2003
  • Published: 02/19/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/27/1995
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method for treating oropharyngeal disorders in a patient by electrical neuromuscular stimulation, said method comprising the steps of:

  • (a) providing a first electrode and a second electrode, each of which comprises;

    (i) a snap eyelet having a first side and a second side, said second side having a connector to which a lead wire may be attached;

    (ii) a conductive film that is attached to the first side of the snap eyelet;

    (iii) an adhesive and conductive gel layer that is attached to the conductive film and adapted to be attached to the skin of the patient;

    (b) providing at least one adhesively backed tape overlay for securing the first and second electrodes to the skin of the patient;

    (c) providing a pulse generator for generating a series of electrical pulses, said pulse generator further comprising;

    (i) a frequency controller for modulating an electrical signal generated by the pulse generator at a predetermined frequency to produce the series of electrical pulses;

    (ii) a duration control circuit for controlling the duration of time for which said pulse generator generates the series of electrical pulses; and

    (iii) an intensity control circuit for regulating the series of electrical pulses such that the electrical current does not exceed a predetermined current or voltage value;

    (iv) an output jack for connection of a lead wire;

    (d) providing at least one lead wire having an electrode connection end and an output jack end, wherein said electrode connection end is adapted to be attached to a connector of a snap eyelet, and wherein said output jack end is adapted to be attached to the output jack of the pulse generator;

    (e) placing the first electrode on the skin of the patient'"'"'s throat with the adhesive gel layer in contact with the skin;

    (f) placing the second electrode on the skin of the patient'"'"'s throat with the adhesive gel layer in contact with the skin;

    (g) securing the electrodes to the skin of the patient'"'"'s throat by application of at least one adhesively backed tape overlay to the skin of the patient'"'"'s throat over at least a portion of each of the electrodes;

    (h) attaching a lead wire to the snap eyelet of each electrode and to the output jack of the pulse generator so as to electrically connect the snap eyelet of each electrode to the output jack;

    (i) generating a series of electrical pulses using the pulse generator so as to apply the series of electrical pulses to the patient'"'"'s throat using the electrodes.

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