NPWT Standards of Care: 9 Questions to Ask

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By Diane Krasner PhD, RN, CWCN, CWS, MAPWCA, FAAN

Wound care clinicians who use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and legal professionals who review NPWT cases should all be focusing on the same standard of wound care issues when it comes to NPWT:

  1. Is the use of NPWT appropriate for the patient and the patient’s wound at this point in time?
  2. Have device indications, contraindications, precautions and warnings been taken into consideration? Have treatment options other than NPWT been considered and offered?
  3. Are the members of the interprofessional wound care team properly trained in the use of NPWT?
  4. Has the physician ordered the device with appropriate settings and specifications (e.g. pressure in mmHg; continuous vs. intermittent; frequency of dressing change)?
  5. Is appropriate and functioning equipment being utilized (e.g. pump, canisters, tubing)?
  6. Have the correct dressing materials been ordered and utilized (e.g. foam, silver foam, contact layers, gauze, drapes)?
  7. Have appropriate arrangements been made for use of NPWT across the continuum of care (acute care, long term care, home care, outpatient)?
  8. Have arrangements been made for wound reevaluation to determine when NPWT can be discontinued?
  9. Has the patient and his/her caregivers been trained in how to monitor the device, device alarms and what to do and who to contact in case of problems or emergencies?

About The Author
Diane Krasner PhD, RN, CWCN, CWS, MAPWCA, FAAN is a certified wound specialist, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a Master of the American Professional Wound Care Association, a Wound & Skin Care Consultant, and serves on a variety of editorial and managerial boards for prestigious wound care organizations.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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