A Beginner’s Guide to Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

1Being that we manufacture and distribute our own negative pressure wound therapy pump, the extriCARE® system, education on NPWT is very important to us. Using negative pressure to promote wound healing actually dates back to 600 BC when the Greeks practiced cupping – a vacuuming technique using heated copper bowls that were applied directly to a wound to draw out fluid and blood.

Before we begin, here are some terms that you need to know as an NPWT beginner.

1. Negative pressure wound therapy: A therapeutic technique using a vacuum dressing to promote healing in acute or chronic wounds.
2. Chronic wound: A wound that does not heal in an orderly set of stages and in a predictable amount of time the way most wounds do; wounds that do not heal within three months are often considered chronic. Chronic wounds seem to be detained in one or more of the phases of wound healing.
3. Exudate: a fluid with a high content of protein and cellular debris that has escaped from blood vessels and has been deposited in tissues or on tissue surfaces, usually as a result of inflammation.
4. Occlusive: when referring to a wound dressing, it closes the wound from the external environment.
5. Wound Bed: the uppermost layer of a wound

To begin negative pressure wound therapy on a patient’s wound, first the skin must be cleaned thoroughly. Then, the clinician would apply the extriCARE® bandage dressing to create a tight seal around the wound bed. For deep wounds, a foam dressing is prepared and applied to the wound prior to a bandage dressing to promote formation of granulation tissue in wounds and to ensure that pressure is evenly distributed at the wound site. Once that is completed, the pump is then connected to the tubing on the dressing and the negative pressure begins filling the canister with wound exudates, infectious material, and tissue debris from the wound bed.

Today, we are proud to be a leader in the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy market with our extriCARE system. The lightweight, portable pumps (2400 and 3600) offer versatile solutions for patients worldwide.

Are you still in the mood to learn more about Negative Pressure Wound Therapy? Visit our website and check out our Frequently Asked Questions or sit back and relax with our NPWT videos.

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