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Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for Pressure Injuries

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A cost analysis was conducted alongside a randomized controlled trial at an SCI unit in India (Dwivedi et al. 2016). This clinical trial examined the efficacy of negative pressure wound therapy on stage III and IV pressure injuries (PU) in individuals with a traumatic paraplegia.  Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) was provided at the bed-side and changed at least weekly.  Standard care consisted of a saline rinse of the ulcer followed by gauze bandages changed once or twice a day.  All costs were collected from hospital records and estimates.  The daily cost for the two treatment arms were calculated and then the cost of treating PU with NPWT or standard care was estimated by multiplying the daily cost by the days until wound granulation.  The estimated cost of the standard care group was $95 USD more than the negative pressure wound therapy group at nine weeks.  The authors conclude that negative pressure wound therapy is cost-effective and financially viable in hospitals where there are limited resources.

In a single study, negative pressure wound therapy with weekly dressing changes was less costly than standard care (with one to two changes a day) at nine weeks.