Negative Pressure Wound Therapy -
- Negative pressure wound therapy has become a common wound care
- It is used for a variety of wounds, including acute and chronic.
- It is also used for things like graft fixation.
- In general, clinicians who use NPWT have indicated that it helps
wounds heal faster by pulling the edges together and also by filling in
the wound from the bottom up, with granulation tissue.
How does it work?
- There are a number of things which go into NPWT.
- Typically, there is a pump that provides suction. Different
manufacturers will recommend different settings. Also, clinicians have
been able to tweak those settings for specific wound types or patients.
It is common to hear about pressure settings from 70 mmHg up to 150 mmHg
and even 200 mmHg in certain cases.
- This therapy usually needs to be left on for most of the day, every
day that treatment is prescribed.
- In addition to the pump, you will need a way to connect the pump to
the wound as well as wound dressings that provide a seal.
- Once you have everything in place, the pump is turned on
and you'll see contraction of the wound dressing material. A 'vacuum
effect' for lack of a better word.
- Some patients and clinicians describe pain or discomfort when the
device is first turned on, but there are ways to reduce that.
- New devices have come into the NPWT market, including syringe based
and other mechanical devices that don't use power.
Precautions / Contraindications
- NPWT is not used on all wounds and all patients.
- Check with the manufacturer for a list of their specific
contraindications and settings.
NPWT Devices Available (list is not comprehensive):