Better Wound Management In Children Is Possible By Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

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Children and elderly are one of the most at-risk groups for getting injured and wounded.  Even relatively insignificant wounds can make children very uncomfortable and in case of serious wounds, managing a child can be very difficult.  Children have a lower threshold for pain and they don’t want to be confined which may be necessary sometimes.

The standard wound care methods involve using wound dressings or bandages to protect the wound.  However, there are issues associated with wound dressings such as choice of an appropriate dressing because an inappropriate dressing can cause damage to the healing process. 

Discomfort during application and especially upon removal is another problem from patient’s perspective.  Fortunately, a new therapy (Negative pressure wound therapy) was introduced a few years ago which addresses these issues and manages severe wounds effectively while decreasing the need for dressing changes which can be quite uncomfortable.

Negative pressure wound therapy uses negative suction that is applied through a vacuum system. A foam sponge is placed on the wound bed secured with an adhesive cover.  The adhesive cover provides a moist environment in and around the wound which promotes healing.  A study by Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye examined the effectiveness of negative pressure therapy on children.

Based on the observations of the study, Dr. Olutoye explained, “The system accelerates wound contraction, decreases wound and tissue swelling, increases local microcirculation, provides a closed, moist healing environment and stimulates the formation of granulation tissue, an important indicator of healing tissue.”

According to the results of the study, decreased wound volume was experienced by 93 percent of the study participants and wounds were closed in about 80 percent of the cases. “This is very good news for children with large and complex wounds, such as abdominal wall defects or disrupted surgical wounds,” said Dr. Olutoye. “Not only is the therapy very effective, but it eliminates the need for dozens of painful and frightening gauze dressing changes.”

In addition to providing better management of severe and complex wounds, there are other benefits also of this therapy.  It is relatively less painful as compared to the traditional methods, therefore, doesn’t require the use of a lot of pain medicines.

All medical treatments have their pros and cons and Negative Pressure Wound Care therapy is no different.  If the official guidelines are followed, it can be a safe and cost-effective mode of treatment.  On the other hand, if non-standard or unapproved forms of pressure delivery and other materials are used, it can cause injury and suffering to the patient.

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