UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has recommended that Smith+Nephew’s PICO single-use negative pressure wound therapy (sNPWT) should be considered for closing surgical incisions in patients who are at high risk of surgical site infections.

The UK agency found that the patients with a high risk of surgical site infections had better outcomes with similar overall costs using sNPWT when compared to standard dressings. The guidance was reaffirmed in NICE’s guidance titled ‘Medical Technology Guideline 43 PICO negative pressure wound dressings for closed surgical incisions’.

NICE’s recommendation was based on the review of 28 papers, which included 24 clinical trials. The review found that sNPWT use was associated with fewer surgical site infections and seroma (localised accumulation of fluid following surgery) when compared with standard wound dressings. While sNPWT was as cost-effective as the standard wound dressings in most cases, it provided cost savings for some surgeries including colorectal, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeries.

sNPWT uses an airlock technology to deliver a negative pressure wound therapy across a surgical incision and the surrounding zone of injury. The negative pressure works by applying sub-atmospheric pressure to help reduce inflammation, fluid, wound tension, and infection, thereby, preventing common surgical complications including surgical site infections and wound dehiscence or wound separation.

According to GlobalData analysis, the global wound care management market was worth approximately  $30bn in 2023 and is expected to reach nearly $38bn by 2030. UK is a big market for wound management, with approximately 2.3m procedures performed using advanced wound dressings in the UK, as per GlobalData analysis.

Another approach to wound management is the use of a fish-skin graft product. Kerecis has a range of fish-skin products, which use the skin of the North Atlantic cod. The company’s new product, Shield Standard, has a borderless contact layer made of silicone to protect the fish skin that acts as an adhesive to maintain a moist wound healing environment.

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Earlier this week, Smith+Nephew launched a home-based negative pressure wound therapy, Renasys Edge, in the US. The system is used to treat chronic wounds and can be worn without interfering with daily activities.