Lesson 4: Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT)

The use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) on wounds that have excessive exudate is possible. NPWT is the application of negative pressure to a wound in order to remove exudate and debris and to promote the formation of granulation tissue. NPWT should be included in the wound management plan if it will be utilized. Patients should be educated on what the NPWT device is, what it does, and how often the dressing should be changed and the canister should be emptied.

A schedule should be established for when they need to come into the clinic, as well as what activities they should avoid or modify at home in order to achieve the best results. For example, they should avoid showering with the hose and suction device attached to the dressing in order to achieve the best results.  Many NPWT devices can be used for seven or more days at a time, which reduces the number of dressing changes required. Furthermore, advancements in NPWT technology have made these devices smaller and more discrete, allowing patients to continue with their typical daily activities without being noticed.