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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2008 Dec;54(12):36-46.

A blinded, prospective, randomized controlled trial of topical negative pressure wound closure in India.

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Department of Surgery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Wound closure using topical negative pressure (TNP) has been reported to be effective, but equipment costs can be prohibitive in resource-challenged countries. Because nonhealing wounds are exceedingly common in developing countries such as India, the ability to optimize wound care with limited resources is very important. To investigate the feasibility and efficacy of providing TNP in an Indian medical referral center, a randomized controlled trial comparing a locally constructed TNP device (treatment) to wet-to-dry gauze dressings (control) was conducted. Eligible study participants (N = 48) were recruited from the inpatient wards. Wound etiologies included diabetic foot ulcers (15), pressure ulcers (11), cellulitis/fasciitis (11), and "other" (11). Following enrollment, wound size was assessed using computer-aided measurements of digital photographs and block-randomized to the study arms using a concealed allocation table. Wounds in both treatment groups were d├ębrided before dressing application and patients were followed until wound closure or being lost to follow-up for an average of 26.3 days (+/- 18.5) in the control and 33.1 days (+/- 37.3) in the treatment group. No statistically significant differences in time to closure between the two treatment groups were observed except in a subset analysis of pressure ulcers (mean 10 +/- 7.11 days for treatment and 27 +/- 10.6 days in control group, P = 0.05). Direct costs to close a pressure ulcer also were lower in the TNP than in the control group. A review of the literature suggests the outcomes obtained using a locally constructed TNP device are similar to those obtained using commercially available devices. As a result of this study, a dedicated tissue viability team has been established to identify wounds suitable for TNP, oversee treatment, monitor the need for surgical d├ębridement, and employ wound healing principles and technology appropriately. These results suggest that inexpensive materials can be utilized for TNP wound closure in a developing country.

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