Objective: Lower extremity ulcers are caused by multiple disease processes and contribute to a high level of patient morbidity and health-care spending in the US. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been used extensively for wound bed preparation. Our aim is to assess the efficacy of an affordable, low-profile single-use NPWT (single-use NPWT) on chronic lower extremity wounds that would usually be deemed too small or superficial for traditional NPWT. Method: A prospective pilot study was undertaken in which chronic lower extremity wounds were treated with single-use NPWT. Study visits were biweekly for primary contact dressing change, with the negative pressure unit being changed weekly. Biweekly assessments were made of wound appearance, surface area, depth, exudate amount, peri-wound skin integrity, and signs of clinical infection. Digital photography was performed at each visit. Patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs) were treated with a 3-layer wrap. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) were treated with off-loading shoes. Results: The study recruited 12 patients. There were 13 wounds in total; two DFUs, two traumatic/ postoperative/pressure ulcers, and nine VLUs. DFUs decreased in size on average 62%, VLUs by 32%, and traumatic/postoperative/pressure wounds by 74%. The wound appearance became more favourable and the wound depth decreased with the use of single-use NPWT. Conclusion: Single-use NPWT is a suitable therapy for chronic lower extremity wounds. Single-use NPWT led to a decrease in wound size and depth, an increased amount of granulation tissue, and a high level of patient satisfaction, with a low complication rate. Declaration of interest: This study was funded by Smith & Nephew, Hull, UK. JC Lantis is a paid consultant for KCI, Smith & Nephew, Healthpoint and Macrocure. C Gendics is a paid consultant for Macrocure and ManukaMed.
- Chronic wounds
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Negative pressure wound therapy
- Pressure ulcers
- Single-use negative pressure wound therapy
- Venous leg ulcers