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Electric underpants can prevent bedsores, researchers claim

Electric underpants that shock a patient's buttocks may prevent dangerous wounds.
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This pair of dirty Elvis underwear was put up for auction. (Omega Auctions/Screengrab)

Researchers have invented underpants that send electric shocks to a person's buttocks muscles. It sounds painful, but the point of the underwear is actually to provide pain relief. The built-in electrodes are meant to prevent hospital patients from developing bedsores, the Guardian reported.

The researchers, speaking at an annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, said that patients involved in a small study thought that the invention was effective. "Most of them wanted to keep the device after they were done," Sean Dukelow of the department of clinical neuroscience at the University of Calgary in Canada told the Guardian. 

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The underwear places two pads of electrodes on each cheek. Patients who cannot move because of a spinal cord injury were shocked with 10 seconds of stimulation every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day, BBC News reported.   

Bedsores often form when people are stuck in one position for too long. The sores are dangerous and costly to the healthcare system, the BBC said.