23 April 2013

Worldwide NPWT thought leaders confer at the 4th International NPWT Expert Meeting on how to unlock the full potential of this therapy to reduce the human and economic cost of wounds

Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN), the global medical technology business, announces the conclusion of the fourth Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) Expert Panel and further progress in developing a comprehensive, evidence-based consensus on the use of NPWT.

This year more than 250 world thought-leaders in NPWT from 27 countries met in Berlin 12-13, April to examine NPWT’s potential to lessen the toll wounds can take on patients’ overall wellbeing and the economic strain they can pose to healthcare budgets.  Key opinion leaders from Germany, Sweden, USA, Ireland, Italy, UK, Canada, Australia, Portugal and Switzerland discussed the current state of NPWT during the two day conference, focusing on the latest techniques and new possiblities of NPWT in surgical incisions, open abdomen, in managing large burns and in the community setting.
“In the industrialized world almost 1-1.5%1 of the population will have a problem wound at any one time, which is why we believe it is imperative to examine the best practices and publish evidence-based consensus recommendations on wound management using NPWT,” says Professor Norbert Runkel of the University of Freiburg, Germany, and Chair of the NPWT Expert Panel (NPWT-EP), a group of 22 clinicians from around the world, who have published a series of evidence-based recommendations on the use of this therapy. “The human and economic cost of chronic wounds can be staggering. This year we are particularly focused on how wound complications can lead to longer hospital stays and disruption for the patient, a drain on hospital staff resources and additional medical expenses and how they can be diminished with a consensus on effective care.  The panel convened to compare techniques and research associated with NPWT so that this therapy’s true potential for wound patients and budgets can be realized.”

This meeting in Berlin was the fourth of a series started in Milan in 2009 to serve as a forum for professionals to share their knowledge of NPWT and to begin a collaborative process for providing consensus guidelines on the use of the therapy. It subsequently met in Hamburg, also in 2010 and Amsterdam in 2011 to continue the dialogue finalised in the first three evidence-based recommendations, which have been published in Injury, JPRAS, and the Journal of Tissue Viability2-4.  Another paper discussing the NPWT on orthopaedic incisions will be presented at the 14th EFORT congress in June 2013.

“With 31% of all hospital associated infections among hospitalised patients coming from surgical site infections (SSIs), clinicians are persistently seeking a way to minimise this risk,” says James Stannard, MD and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the J. Vernon Luck Sr. Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Having a therapy that can decrease the healing time for wounds and even prevent infection by proactive use, can help solve a crucial problem that greatly burdens the patient and healthcare resources.” Stannard continues, “These meetings provide a dynamic opportunity for global experts to have an ongoing conversation on the latest research, practices and techniques, which is fundamental to clinicians’ worldwide understanding the extent of the possibilities of applying this therapy.”

The NPWT-EP and the associated educational activities are supported by the Advanced Wound Management Division of Smith & Nephew. More information about the expert guidelines and meetings can be found at www.npwtexperts.com

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit http://www.smith-nephew.com.

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Sara Fisher
Smith & Nephew     +44 (0) 1482 673 414

Suzanne Miller
Magellan Communications    +44 (0)20 329.059.92

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping improve people's lives.  With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine, Trauma and Clinical Therapies, Smith & Nephew has almost 10,500 employees and a presence in more than 90 countries. Annual sales in 2012 were more than $4.1 billion.  Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

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1. Journal of Wound Care, Vol19, NO 6, June 2010
2. Krug et al. Injury (2011) 42, S1-S12
3. Birke-Sorensen et al. JPRAS (2011) 64, S1-S16
4. Vig et al. J Tissue Viab (2011) 20, S1-S18
5. Magill SS, Hellinger W, et al. Prevalence of healthcare-associated infections in acute care facilities. Infect Control Hospital Epidemiol 2012; 33(3): 283-91