New WHO guidelines suggest use of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy for prevention of SSIs

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced new global guidelines concerning surgical site infections (SSIs) – a significant contributor to unnecessary costs associated with patient complications. In its announcement, the agency suggests use of prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (pNPWT, or closed incision negative pressure therapy [ciNPT]) over conventional wound dressings on primarily closed surgical incisions in high-risk wounds for the prevention of SSIs. In establishing these guidelines, WHO has recognized the significant burden SSIs place on global healthcare systems, both in terms of financial implications and patient outcomes, and has taken steps to reduce these burdens by suggesting the use of pNPWT/ciNPT on surgical incisions.

To develop the guidelines, WHO commissioned a systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 studies including both randomized controlled trials and observational studies, of which 76 percent utilized ACELITY™ negative pressure therapy products. The conclusions, published in the September issue of Medicine, found that pNPWT significantly reduced the risk of SSIs compared to traditional dry gauze dressings.

“The new WHO guidelines build upon a significant body of evidence that illustrates the impact negative pressure therapy can have in reducing the incidence of surgical site infections,” said Ron Silverman, M.D., FACS, chief medical officer of Acelity. “We developed PREVENA™ Therapy as the first disposable powered negative pressure system designed specifically for the management of closed surgical incisions six years ago, building off our demonstrated expertise in this space. Acelity brought the gold standard NPWT technology, V.A.C.® Therapy, to market in 1995 and, since then, V.A.C.® Therapy has been used to treat more than 10 million open wounds worldwide. We continue to build upon that track record by expanding our portfolio to improve patient care and address the needs of a changing healthcare system.”