Home»Technical Insights»Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

posted in: Technical Insights

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy or NPWT is a form of treatment where the clinician/Doctor orders a foam dressing to be applied to a wound and uses vacuum application to treat the affected area. NPWT is used to treat wounds that are at high risk of infection, 2 & 3 degree burns, wounds with profuse draining and wounds that have not responded to other forms of treatment. The negative pressure caused by the vacuum increases healing time and reduces risks of infections.

Preventative Maintenance

During the annual PM (Preventative Maintenance) we start with a visual inspection of the unit to ensure no physical damage caused by falls or user errors. Secondly we check the integrity of the O-ring at the quick connector and replace it, if necessary. We then check the power supply for damage, state of power cords and connectors followed by an electrical safety check (See electrical safety). To test suction accuracy we take our test canister and pressure meter and begin testing for suction power in mmHg (Millimeter of mercury) at different intervals ranging from 80mmHg to 200mmHg while also checking for any possible leaks.  Lastly we trigger several of the alarms by setting up certain test conditions to ensure the devices safety features are all working correctly.
Common errors

  • Low Battery, Battery Fail: Ensure battery is kept plugged in when not in use or while possible during treatments
  • Low Vacuum: Possible leaks at wound site or canister not inserted correctly. Check dressings for leaks.
  • High Vacuum: Check patient lines for possible blockage. Also canister maybe full and require replacement.
  • Over Vacuum: Device has registered a vacuum of over 235mmHg, triggering the safety switch. If this error is ongoing contact your biomed department as this unit needs to be pulled for service.
  • Blockage: Follow steps outlined in High Vacuum error, ensure tubing clamp is open, and inspect internal filter for exudate.
  • Leak: Check dressing for leaks in the following places: dressing site, seals around drain exit, tubing, and canister connection.

The TRH Value

The added value of choosing TRH Services to complete maintenance on your Negative Pressure Wound therapy unit is that we ensure that all of the values that the unit is registering are correct, and test all alarms in the unit to ensure that the unit is working correctly.   When we are onsite we test the battery on the unit to make sure that it will last for the rest of the year just like we test the accessories.  As noted above by identifying key issues with your system we can prevent false reading in the system which will ensure that you get the most out of your Negative Pressure Wound therapy unit.  We complete our onsite service of these devices across South-Western Ontario (London, Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Hamilton, etc.).


Written By: Rolando Valladares
Edited By: Tyler Hasenpflug CET

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved January 07, 2017, from http://www.smith-nephew.com/key-products/advanced-wound-management/wound-therapy-areas/negative-pressure-wound-therapy/