22 November 2016

New WHO guidelines recommend the use of NPWT to help reduce the risk of Surgical Site Infection

Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, welcomes the publication of new global guidelines from World Health Organisation (WHO) outlining strategies to reduce rates of surgical site infection (SSI).1 

Amongst the 27 separate topics, the guidelines recommend the use of (prophylactic) negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in adult patients on primarily closed surgical incisions in high-risk wounds.  The WHO guidelines also point towards the adoption of more portable devices to ensure the use of NPWT doesn’t prolong hospital stay.

PICO™ is a unique single-use NPWT system and its role in reducing surgical site complications is documented in a recent meta-analysis 2. Through a wealth of clinical evidence, PICO™ is rapidly becoming a leading choice in NPWT and has been shown to have the ability to manage a wide range of wounds at risk of complications in a clinical and cost effective way.2 3 4 5 Since the WHO team reviewed the evidence for NPWT (October 2015) a new RCT has been published demonstrating the ability of PICO to reduce surgical site complications in orthopaedic surgery. 6  Recently an additional randomised study in cardiothoracic surgery also showed reductions in SSI for those patients treated with PICO.

Dr. Niz Islam, Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, at Smith & Nephew, said: “These new WHO guidelines provide important insights into optimising clinical management strategies for preventing SSIs, which are an increasing concern for healthcare providers and their patients around the world. This is a significant addition to the growing body of literature supporting NPWT as an effective prophylactic treatment option for SSIs.  It follows the recent release of a World Union of Wound Healing Societies Consensus document on the role of negative pressure in the management of Closed Surgical Incisions.”

The WUWHS consensus document was published in September 2016 and was supported by an educational grant from Smith & Nephew. These guidelines may be downloaded for free at: http://www.wuwhs2016.com/files/WUWHS_SI_consensus_Web.pdf.



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


Ingeborg Oie
Smith & Nephew
+44 (0)20 7401 7646

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 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2015 were more than $4.6 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our website www.smith-nephew.com, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on Facebook.com.

To learn more about what we do to help reduce surgical site complications, please visit www.closertozero.com

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1. WHO. Global Guidelines for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection. Geneva; 2016 http://www.who.int/gpsc/ssi-prevention-guidelines/en/

2. Hyldig N, Birke-Sorensen H, Kruse M, et al. Meta-analysis of negative-pressure wound therapy for closed surgical incisions. Br J Surg. 2016;103(5):477-486. doi:10.1002/bjs.10084.

3. Adogwa O, Fatemi P, Perez E, et al. Negative pressure wound therapy reduces incidence of postoperative wound infection and dehiscence after long-segment thoracolumbar spinal fusion: a single institutional experience. Spine J. 2014;14(12):2911-2917. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.04.011.

4. Matsumoto T, Parekh SG. Use of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy on Closed Surgical Incision After Total Ankle Arthroplasty. Foot ankle Int. 2015;36(7):787-794. doi:10.1177/1071100715574934.

5. Nherera L. Cost-effectiveness of single use negative pressure wound therapy system (sNPWT*) to reduce surgical site complications (SSC) in routine primary hip and knee replacements. SAWC Fall. 2016;(Poster).

6. Karlakki SL, Hamad AK, Whittal C, Graham NM, Banerjee RD, Kuiper JH. Incisional negative pressure wound therapy dressings (iNPWT)in routine primary hip and knee arthroplasties: A randomised controlled trial. Bone Joint Res. 2016;5(8):328-337. doi:10.1302/2046-3758.58.BJR- 2016-0022.R1

7. Witt-Majchrzak A, ┼╗elazny P, Snarska J. Preliminary outcome of treatment of postoperative primarily closed sternotomy wounds treated using negative pressure wound therapy. Pol Przegl Chir. 2015;86(10):456-465. doi:10.2478/pjs-2014-0082.

Note: Some of the studies referenced above used PICO Soft Port, which is not cleared for use in the USA.