Purpose of Technology: Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a treatment for acute, subacute, and chronic wounds that involves the application of subatmospheric pressure to the open wound, with the goal of creating a controlled, closed wound amenable to surgical closure, grafting, or healing by secondary intention. NPWT is intended as an adjunct treatment for wounds that are refractory to standard treatment. This report evaluates the effectiveness and safety of the home use of NPWT for chronic wounds.

Controversy: There is controversy regarding the benefits and harms associated specifically with the outpatient or home use of NPWT compared with other available wound treatments.

Relevant Questions:

  • What is the clinical effectiveness of NPWT in the home or outpatient settings for treatment of chronic wounds (i.e., venous leg ulcerss, arterial leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and mixed etiology chronic wounds)?

  • Does the effectiveness of NPWT or incidence of adverse events vary by clinical history (e.g., diabetes), wound characteristics (e.g., size, chronicity), duration of treatment, types of device, or patient characteristics (e.g., age, sex, prior treatments, smoking, or other medications)?

  • What are the harms associated with home use of NPWT?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria for NPWT been established?

If you have a Hayes login, click here to view the full report on the Knowledge Center.