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.
Quatman CE, Villarreal ME, Cochran A. Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Following Surgical Repair of Lower Extremity Fractures. JAMA. 2020;323(6):513–514. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22531
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