15 May 2014

Summit participants suggest pathway to greater adoption of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, reports a survey of participants at its first North American Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Summit outlining a pathway to greater adoption of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT).

The Summit, titled “Unlocking the Potential of NPWT,” provided a forum for discussion of new clinical research and issues relevant to helping patients suffering with traumatic, chronic and post-surgical wounds. The survey revealed consensus that NPWT has a key role to play in reducing the cost of wound care and improving patient outcomes, and identified areas where progress and innovation could drive adoption of NPWT across a broader range of wounds.

The Summit’s 115 participants came from across the clinical spectrum that treats the full range of wound types. The largest numbers of participants were from wound care, plastic, general and orthopaedic surgery, OB/GYN and podiatry. Participants came from twenty-five states in the US as well as Canada. The survey included responses from 92 participants, and revealed the following: 

Along with this interest in expanding NPWT within general surgery, participants are keen to see NPWT’s application to closed surgical incisions, especially for the potential of improvement in the control of surgical site infection (SSI). Survey responses indicate that this is a compelling opportunity for growth: 

When asked which single factor could expand access to NPWT in their facilities, 39% of participants indicated that reduced cost would help the most, followed by ease of implementation of treatment (26%) and easier access to the technology (22%). The top three factors that would increase the individual clinician’s use of NPWT were improved patient access to NPWT (39%), reduced cost (32%) and increased clinical indications (11%). 

“It was wonderful to have experts from so many specialities across the spectrum together at the Summit,” said Michael Sugrue, MD, Chair of the Summit and Surgeon at Letterkenny Hospital and Galway University, Ireland. “Medicine is best delivered by a team. The patient requires it.  Opportunities like the NPWT Summit bring us together as a team, sharing best practices and new research. 

“There is little if any doubt that NPWT is a critically important tool for the treatment of chronic and traumatic wounds, and the emerging focus on surgical incisions is beginning to fill a pressing need to reduce post-surgical infection,” Dr. Sugrue added. “Very clearly, clinicians are looking for more to be done to make the therapy more accessible, easier for the clinician to manage and easier to deliver at home or in the community. These are exciting opportunities for innovation to extend the benefits of NPWT over a broader range of patients with all manner of wounds.”

Presentations from Summit faculty aligned recent evidence on the efficacy of NPWT for the treatment of open wounds with the current emphasis on cost efficiency and improved outcomes driven by the Affordable Care Act, and for the treatment of post-surgical incisions with the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. For example, the program included: 

Additional presentations focused on the NPWT mode of action in different wound types, reviewing the evidence for incisional NPWT, the impact of biofilms on wound healing and the emerging consensus guidelines for NPWT. Breakout sessions discussed surgical site complication management strategies, and experiences with the use of NPWT in plastic and abdominal surgery.

The North American NPWT Summit convened in Dallas, Texas, on May 2 and 3. The Summit and associated educational activities were supported by Smith & Nephew. 

The survey was conducted with an audience response system that utilized a wireless keypad technology allowing for immediate response polling, participants were asked to select the single best response to each question.




Phil Cowdy

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Smith & Nephew






Beth Bentley

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Smith & Nephew




Taryn Tawoda

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About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping healthcare professionals improve people's lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has around 11,000 employees and a presence in more than 90 countries. Annual sales in 2013 were more than $4.3 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN). 

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  1. Karlakki S, Brem M, Giannini S, Khanduja V, Stannard J, Martin R. Negative pressure wound therapy for managementof the surgical incision in orthopaedic surgery: A review of evidence and mechanisms for an emerging indication. Bone Joint Res. 2013;2(12):276–84. doi:10.1302/2046-3758.212.2000190.
  2. Bonds AM, Novick TK, Dietert JB, Araghizadeh FY, Olson CH. Incisional negative pressure wound therapy significantly reduces surgical site infection in open colorectal surgery. Dis Colon Rectum. 2013;56(12):1403–1408. doi:10.1097/DCR.0b013e3182a39959.