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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2014 Mar;60(3):30-6.

Use of a portable, single-use negative pressure wound therapy device in home care patients with low to moderately exuding wounds: a case series.

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Nursing Practice Solutions, Ontario, Canada.
Smith and Nephew, Hull, United Kingdom; email:
Smith and Nephew, Hull, United Kingdom.


Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is widely used in the management of acute and chronic wounds. The purpose of this 8-week study was to evaluate outcomes of using a new canisterless, portable, single-use NPWT system in patients with wounds treated in a Canadian community healthcare setting. The device is designed to provide negative pressure at 80±20 mm Hg, 24 hours a day of continuous usage, for a maximum wear time of 7 days. Data on wound outcomes, including exudate levels, wound appearance, and wound area, were collected weekly by a Registered Nurse as part of routine practice. When treatment was discontinued, patients and nurses were asked to rate their satisfaction with the device. Data from patients who had used a conventional NPWT device to manage their wounds were retrospectively abstracted from their medical records. In the prospective study, conducted between October 2011 and July 2012, 326 patients (median age=61 years; range 17-91 years) with wounds of mixed etiology (53 pressure ulcers, 21 venous leg ulcers, 16 diabetic foot ulcers, and 15 traumatic and 221 surgical wounds) were treated for a maximum of 8 weeks with the portable NPWT device. The majority of patients (228 out of 326; 68%) achieved complete wound closure within 8 weeks of treatment. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of median time to healing of all wounds was 9 weeks. The majority of patients (318 patients, 97%) reported they were pleased or satisfied with the dressing performance. Nurses indicated satisfaction with the dressing performance for all but two patients (99%). The majority (89%) of patients managed with conventional NPWT (n=539) had an open surgical wound with moderate or high levels of exudate. Healing rates in the portable and conventional NPWT group were similar (10% to 11% per week). Portable, single-use NPWT has the potential to deliver good wound outcomes in community care settings and simplify the use of negative pressure for nurses and patients. Additional research is needed to evaluate treatment efficacy and cost effectiveness.

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