‡ In these countries please contact our distributor

New surgical wound dehiscence consensus document aims to improve outcomes for clinicians and their patients

20 February 2018

Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, welcomes the publication of a new global consensus document by Wounds International “Surgical wound dehiscence: improving prevention and outcomes”.1

The consensus document, endorsed by the World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS), targets clinicians in all care settings to help raise awareness and understanding of surgical wound dehiscence (SWD), a complication in which a wound ruptures along a surgical incision.

Professor Karen Ousey, Chair of the Core Expert Working Group who led the discussions and debate leading to this Consensus, commented:

“By building a global consensus, as well as providing practical guidance, we hope to inspire clinicians to improve outcomes for patients in this area. SWD is almost certainly under-reported, not least because of variation in the interpretation and definition.” Professor Ousey continued “As a result, patients with SWD may not receive optimal treatment and may experience additional surgical site complications and even increased mortality.”

The consensus recommends the use of negative pressure wound therapy if a patient has high exudate levels or is at risk of delayed healing, often factors associated with SWD. Topical antimicrobials at certain grades of SWD may also be used, where clinical signs or symptoms of infection are present.1

Paolo Di Vincenzo, Smith & Nephew’s SVP of Advanced Wound Management, said: “Smith & Nephew continues to be dedicated to practice development and consistency through our support of important initiatives like this, as well as a continued commitment to innovation and clinical evidence generation to help improve patient outcomes.”

The WUWHS consensus document was published by Wounds International in February 2018, supported by an educational grant from Smith & Nephew. These guidelines may be downloaded for free at:



Dave Snyder
+1 (978) 749-1440
Smith & Nephew plc


1. World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Consensus Document. Surgical wound dehiscence: improving prevention and outcomes. Wounds International, 2018.

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to supporting healthcare professionals in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has more than 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2017 were almost $4.8 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our corporate website, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on


Forward-looking Statements

This document may contain forward-looking statements that may or may not prove accurate. For example, statements regarding expected revenue growth and trading margins, market trends and our product pipeline are forward-looking statements. Phrases such as "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from what is expressed or implied by the statements. For Smith & Nephew, these factors include: economic and financial conditions in the markets we serve, especially those affecting health care providers, payers and customers; price levels for established and innovative medical devices; developments in medical technology; regulatory approvals, reimbursement decisions or other government actions; product defects or recalls or other problems with quality management systems or failure to comply with related regulations; litigation relating to patent or other claims; legal compliance risks and related investigative, remedial or enforcement actions; disruption to our supply chain or operations or those of our suppliers; competition for qualified personnel; strategic actions, including acquisitions and dispositions, our success in performing due diligence, valuing and integrating acquired businesses; disruption that may result from transactions or other changes we make in our business plans or organisation to adapt to market developments; and numerous other matters that affect us or our markets, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive or reputational nature. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20-F, for a discussion of certain of these factors. Any forward-looking statement is based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date of the statement. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew are qualified by this caution. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in circumstances or in Smith & Nephew's expectations.

◊ Trademark of Smith & Nephew. Certain marks registered US Patent and Trademark Office.