Negative pressure wound therapy is a complementary wound therapy that is gaining attention in the EU and North America. Negative pressure wound therapy refers to continuously or intermittently applying sub-atmospheric pressure to the surface of a wound bed to remove exudate absorbed by dressings or collected in a canister.
Applications and Advantages
Negative pressure wound therapy is often used in skin graft, complicated acute wounds, surgical wounds, chronic wounds, burn wounds, and ulcers. This treatment has the following advantages:
When NPWT is applied, wounds can be maintained in a wet environment, reducing edema, improve blood supply, proliferate granulation tissue, and accelerate recovery.
NPWT aids bacteria clearance. Vacuuming in a single direction can also prevent further infection.
NPWT can reduce the frequency of dressing changes and is deemed as a way to alleviate a patient’s physical and financial burden, as well as minimize wasting of healthcare resources.
In Taiwan, where healthcare is covered by National Health Insurance, negative pressure therapy is mainly applied to hard-to-heal chronic wounds such as a diabetic foot, pressure ulcers, and bed sores. However, not all wounds can be treated with negative pressure wound therapy, including:
Non-intestinal fistula or fistula without exploratory laparotomy
Necrotic tissue with scab
Open wounds associated with vessels, nerves, tendons and bones
Wounds at the anastomotic site
The progress of conducting negative pressure therapy needs to be carefully evaluated by professionals in conjunction with proper wound care for better recovery.