Negative pressure wound therapy utilizes foam dressings to create an optimal healing environment.
At the wound site, negative pressure wound therapy promotes wound healing and closure by removing excess fluids that can hamper the success of the treatment. Foam dressings used for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) are impressively effective dressings that facilitate an equal distribution of pressure across the wound, while reducing the risk of infection. For this reason, and many more, foam dressings are recommended for accompaniment with negative pressure techniques.
Benefits of Negative Pressure Therapy
By creating a controlled negative pressure condition, this type of wound therapy when used in combination with foam dressings, can:
- Accelerate wound healing times
- Reduce the risk of pathogenic infection
- Reduce the number of dressing changes
- Increase blood flow to the wound area while simultaneously drawing out excess fluids
What Kinds of Wounds Benefit from NPWT?
Doctors primarily use this technique for a variety of advanced wound types:
- First and second degree burns
- Chronic wounds
- Diabetic, venous, arterial and pressure ulcers
- Wounds suffering excessive drainage
- Acute or surgical wounds at risk for suffering infection
How Negative Pressure Wound Therapy is Performed
After cleaning the wound, physicians crop a section of open-cell foam dressing to size and carefully pack the foam material into the wound. It works exceptionally well to filter dead tissue, blood clots, and other large particles that could inhibit healing, promote infection, or clog the vacuum system.
Doctors then place an occlusive, polyurethane dressing over the wound that creates an impermeable seal, followed by the attachment of a specially-programmed vacuum pump. Finally, negative pressure conditions initiate the vacuum environment necessary to promote healing by collecting fluids as they are extracted from the wound.
Initiating Negative Pressure Suctioning
A medical professional attaches a drain tube to the dressing connected to the vacuum device and initiates negative pressure suctioning, in one of the following forms, while maintaining a precise level of moistness around the wound:
Continuous suctioning of the wound is recommended for wounds experiencing excessive drainage. Most wounds require this type of suctioning because fluid discharge is heaviest during the beginning stages of healing.
Intermittent suctioning cycles to adjust to a wound’s exudate levels. Wounds with consistent discharge benefit from intermittent suctioning because cycling maintains optimal moisture content of the wound.
Wound Dressing Changes
Removal of the dressing during changes is usually pain-free and minimizes damage to any new skin forming around the healing wound. Patients may experience varying of levels of pain during treatment, however, so pain medications are provided to assist in retaining patient comfort.
Advantages of Foam Dressings
Foam dressings used for negative pressure wound therapy benefit a variety of wounds by providing enhanced absorbency and a comfortable fit for the patient. This dressing encourages autolytic debridement and protects wounds against potentially damaging mechanical forces that could delay wound healing or allow infection to destabilize the wound. Foams are also compatible with additional dressing materials such as compression bandages and present a cost-effective alternative to traditional dressings since they can normally be left unchanged for several days.
Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.