Clinical NPWT & extriCARE® FAQS
How is the extriCARE® dressing applied to the wound?
- Follow normal protocol for prepping the wound, including use of skin prep to periwound skin.
- Use the hydrogel gasket material to form a contiguous barrier around the gauze pad on the dressing.
- Apply the dressing onto the wound site making sure to fully cover the wound in the gauze.
- Once the dressing is on the wound, press down on the gasket and smooth any wrinkles to form an airtight seal around the wound.
- Refer to application instruction documentation for complete details.
What prevents maceration of the periwound skin?
- Maceration is prevented by the suction of the wound and any present fluid being drawn into the canister located behind the pump.
- We do, however, recommend the use of skin prep prior to application of the dressing.
What special preparation is needed for the periwound skin?
- Trim any hair around the wound.
- Clean skin surface and apply skin prep for additional skin protection.
How is undermining and tunnels handled?
- Non-occlusive material may be loosely packed in area as needed.
- Use larger rather than smaller strips to make removal easier.
- Most clinicians use a gauze type material for this purpose.
Can a clinician use foam or another manufacturer’s dressing with the extriCARE®?
- The extriCARE® pump is a powerful NPWT, comparable to many of the larger NPWT pumps on the market.
- The extriCARE® dressings are made specifically for use with the extriCARE® pump.
- Although clinicians have reported use of the generic gauze and foam dressing kits with our product, we have not done testing with these products and therefore cannot recommend it.
Does a skin prep solution come with the dressing kit?
- No, but many clinicians have skin prep available for use.
Are there any silver or antimicrobial products in the dressing?
- The dressing is made from a sterile non-woven gauze product with a non adherent wound contact layer.
- No silver or antimicrobial is in the dressing, however the clinician may add a non-occlusive antimicrobial layer if desired.
Are there any recommendations on positioning the dressing over the wound?
- Make sure the wound is completely covered by the gauze portion of the dressing and that an airtight seal has been formed.
- The wound can be at the distal point of the dressing if it works better anatomically.
- Put tubing facing toward the pump.
- Avoid pressure areas with tubing and connectors. It may be necessary to pad these areas.
How many dressing changes per week are recommended?
- Typically 2 to 3 times a week, but the first dressing should be changed in 24 to 48 hours to assess how the wound is healing.
- Rarely does a patient need more than 15 dressings per month.
When should the canister be changed?
- The canister should be changed:
1. When it becomes filled and an alarm sounds.
2. At least twice a week, even if not full.
- NOTE: Medicare and most insurance providers reimburses up to 10 canisters per month.
The extriCARE® pump keeps alarming. What should I do?
- Check to see the extriCARE® pump has been charged and is in an upright position.
- Check the dressing to see if there are any gaps or leakage of fluid.
- Run your finger around the dressing to reseal the gasket.
- Turn the pump off, then back on, going through all the steps.
If all of the above does not fix the alarm, the patient should then call their clinician or caregiver. It may be necessary to replace the dressing, being sure the skin is clean and dry, and gaskets are contiguous and secure.
Can compression wraps and stockings be applied over the extriCARE® dressing?
- Yes, and it is actually recommended in the case of treating a wound in an edematous limb.
- Compression dressings may need to be changed more often to accommodate the NPWT dressing change schedule.
- Pad the tubing and connectors or pull through wraps during application.
Can a lymphedema compression pump be used in conjunction with the extriCARE®?
- Yes. Many times they will be used as an adjunct treatment for the edema and to assist with wound healing.
Can the extriCARE® heal more than one wound with a single pump?
- There is a “Y connector” available to providing NPWT to 2 wounds on a patient using a single pump.
Can a patient or caregiver change their own dressings?
- All patient treatment should be prescribed by a physician and / or qualified clinician.
- A patient or caregiver may change their own dressing between visits only when deemed appropriate by the physician or clinician.
- Instruction in dressing changes and wound care would need to be provided to the patient and / or caregiver prior to dressing change.
- Patient and / or caregiver should call wound care provider if they see any negative changes in the wound.
- The patient and / or caregiver should call the provider of the equipment if they have questions regarding operation of the extriCARE® pump.
Can this product be used in a hyperbaric chamber?
- The pump may not go into the chamber.
- The dressing is made from common dressing material.
- As there are no common recommendations from the chamber manufacturers or the USHMS, refer to the safety director at the facility to guidance.
What is the flow rate for the extriCARE® device?
- The pressure flow rate is: 1.2 liters/ minute @120mmHg
- The vacuum flow rate is: 1 liter/ minute @120mmHg
Technical NPWT & extriCARE® FAQS
How long does the battery last in the extriCARE®?
- The battery charges in 3 ½ hours.
- When fully recharged, the battery has a 30 hour life under normal operating conditions.
- The charge of the battery can be checked at any time by looking at the indicator on the screen.
- If the battery level is low, an indicator will shine on the screen and an alarm will sound.
What alarms are in the system?
- There are audio and visual alarms for air leaks, low battery, and when the unit is not standing up-right.
Where is the pump inside the device manufactured?
- The device is manufactured in Germany.
How long is the tubing used with the extriCAR® 2400 Pump?
- 1.8 meters, nearly six feet.
When I purchase an extriCARE® 2400 pump, what do I receive with it in the box?
- 1 canister
- Electrical cord for recharging
- Instruction Booklet
What is the size of the dressing pad?
- Small dressing outside dimensions: 157x168mm
- Small dressing gauze dimensions: 80x100mm
- Large dressing outside dimensions: 192x270mm
- Large dressing gauze dimensions: 77x152mm
Is the system FDA-approved? Is it covered by Medicare?
- The system is both FDA approved and assigned PDAC numbers for CMS billing.
- It is covered by most insurance as well.
What are the codes used for billing?
- The codes are the same used for other NPWT systems.
- E2402 for the pump
- A6550 for the dressings
- A7000 for the canisters