Background Single use negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is as effective as traditional NPWT in most indications for wound treatment. Portable NPWT systems exist but they require canisters and consumables and they are still fairly bulky. A single use canister free system allows more comfort for patients, and it is as effective as other devices.
Purpose We wished to estimate the economic impact of single use canister free NPWT for our hospitalised patients, usually equipped with portable NPWT devices.
Material and methods We identified all NPWT prescriptions from January 2013 to December 2015 in our hospital and calculated the costs of device rental and purchase of consumables. We estimated the cost of single use NPWT if it had been used. We compared two devices from the same supplier (RENASYS GO and PICO, Smith&Nephew). We examined whether the single use device could be used in these patients. The cost of single use was estimated from the costs of medical devices (the dressing have to be changed twice a week). We did not consider nursing time (it is shorter for single use NPWT).
Results 43 patients were treated by NPWT since 2013, 37 with traditional portable NPWT. All would have been eligible for single use NPWT. Total cost of traditional NPWT was €22 912 and represents 477 days of treatment. It comprised rental cost and average cost of consumables. We estimated the cost of NPWT with a single use device at €15 192 for these patients (−34%). The daily cost was €40.28 for traditional NPWT versus €22.21 for single use NPWT. From a clinical point of view, single use NPWT was as effective as traditional NPWT in most indications. For the patient, it seems to be more comfortable than traditional NPWT because it permits easier movement, is less painful and less noisy. Canister use is not necessary. It would reduce length of stay. It seems to be an interesting alternative to portable devices of NPWT. However, this system can present some limits for very exudative wounds (>500 mL/week) or very large wounds.
Conclusion When it can be used, single use canister free NPWT is more economical than traditional NPWT at hospitals, without affecting the effectiveness of wound therapy.
No conflict of interest
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