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February 11, 2020

Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Following Surgical Repair of Lower Extremity Fractures

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 2Department of Surgery, Ohio State University, Columbus
JAMA. 2020;323(6):513-514. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22531

Negative pressure wound therapy is commonly used for both acute and chronic wounds and involves applying either continuous or intermittent subatmospheric pressure to a wound that is beneath an occlusive dressing. Negative pressure wound therapy provides mechanical enhancement to wound healing by increasing blood flow to the wound, maintaining a moist environment, reducing tissue edema, and placing the wound under tension that enhances healing.

Wound healing with negative pressure wound therapy also may be accelerated through a variety of biochemical and molecular effects, including alterations in the microbial milieu. From a nursing and patient perspective, use of negative pressure wound therapy may decrease bedside time on dressing changes, and also may decrease patient discomfort due to a reduction in the frequency of dressing changes. Even though negative pressure wound therapy has become widely used, evidence supporting its routine selection over conventional dressings is limited.