RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness of the vacuum-assisted closure technique in the management of acute and chronic wounds: a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Vacuum-assisted closure therapy is a relatively new concept described in the literature that increases wound-healing capacity. The authors aimed to investigate the effect of vacuum-assisted closure therapy on wound healing, granulation tissue formation, bacterial clearance, pain, time involvement of the staff, and total costs in all types of wounds in comparison with modern wound dressings.

METHODS: Sixty-five patients with a chronic or acute wound were randomized to initial treatment with vacuum-assisted closure or modern dressings. The authors' primary endpoint was a granulated wound or a wound ready for skin grafting or healing by secondary intention.

RESULTS: The time to the primary endpoint with vacuum-assisted closure therapy was not significantly shorter, except for patients with cardiovascular disease and/or diabetics. Vacuum-assisted closure therapy did not result in significantly faster granulation or wound surface reduction or better bacterial clearance, but patient comfort was an important advantage. Time involvement and costs of nursing staff were significantly lower for the vacuum-assisted closure therapy, but overall costs were similar for both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: With vacuum-assisted closure therapy, wound healing is at least as fast as with modern wound dressings. Especially cardiovascular and diabetic patients benefit from this therapy. The total costs of vacuum-assisted closure are comparable to those of modern wound dressings, but the advantage is its comfort for patients and nursing staff.

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