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Oxygen levels during negative pressure wound therapy

: Biermann, Niklas; Geissler, Edward K.; Brix, Eva; Schiltz, Daniel; Prantl, Lukas; Kehrer, Andreas; Taeger, Christian D.


Journal of tissue viability 28 (2019), No.4, pp.223-226
ISSN: 0965-206X
ISSN: 1876-4746
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
aerobic; anaerobic; negative pressure wound therapy; oxygen

Aim of the study: Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has become an established treatment modality when dealing with chronic and infected wounds. The underlying mechanism of action is still under discussion and remains controversial. Evidence exists showing rather hypoxic conditions as the main reason for the positive results and bacterial clearance. In an attempt to further explain the mechanism of action, we investigated oxygen levels within the foam interface of a NPWT device.
Materials and methods: We used an optical sensor based on the principle of dynamic fluorescence quenching and tested five different commonly available NPWT systems used during our daily clinical routine. All measurements were done in an in vitro experimental design for at least 24 h and multiple vacuum intensities were investigated.
Results: Oxygen levels decreased as much as 22.8% and the amount of vacuum applied inversely correlated with the oxygen reduction. A stepwise increase in vacuum of 25 mmHg showed a linear mean drop of 2.75% per setting. All devices were able to maintain a constant level of negative pressure, and no significant difference between the various dressings was found (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Therefore, oxygen levels are decreased within the foam of NPWT dressings, likely leading to oxygen deprivation effects in the underlying wound tissue.