An international group of experts on Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) will assemble this week to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based consensus on the use of NPWT. The International NPWT Expert Panel is drafting recommendations for a range of NPWT indications and techniques that reflect the body of NPWT published clinical evidence. Where published evidence is insufficient, the Panel will seek clinical consensus on best practices with input from wound care specialists across the globe.
This innovative consensus-building process is open to all qualified clinicians. The International Expert Panel will first solicit the input of more than 500 surgeons and wound care specialists from 22 countries at a symposium that is being hosted at Hamburg, Germany, February 5-6, 2010. The Panel will then invite clinicians everywhere to review and comment on the symposium's consensus at www.npwtexperts.com. These comments will be considered in the final consensus document, which the Panel aims to publish by early 2011.
The International NPWT Expert Panel consists of leading, independent physicians from the many clinical specialties that use NPWT. The Panel is chaired by Norbert Runkel, Professor of Surgery and Chairman of the Department of General Surgery at Schwarzwald-Baar-Klinikum in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. The panel was convened to develop guidelines that meet the pressing need for evidence-based techniques in the growing field of NPWT.
"There is an important need for evidence-based recommendations in NPWT," said Prof. Runkel. "The evidence for NPWT is largely based on the use of one commercial system. Though comparable results can be safely expected from other systems, there is lately a new abundance of interfaces and additional options for NPWT available to us. Yet NPWT's mode of action remains poorly understood. It would therefore seem timely to study the entire evidence base for NPWT mechanisms of action and the corresponding benefits, and provide clinicians with guidelines that can help them achieve the best possible clinical outcomes."
The symposium participants will attend workshops on indication-specific issues in NPWT across a comprehensive range of traumatic, chronic and general surgery wounds, and will vote on the presenting Panelists' recommendations to identify consensus on best practices.
Surgeons, wound care specialists and others interested in NPWT can learn more about the International NPWT Expert Panel and the results of its Hamburg symposium at www.npwtexperts.com. The symposium's consensus for each clinical indication will be posted on this site by February 8. Qualified specialists are welcome to contribute their clinical experience by posting comments on the site.
This process is an educational initiative supported by the Advanced Wound Management Division of Smith & Nephew, Inc., a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew plc. (LSE: SN; SNN).
"Prof. Runkel and the Expert Panel are providing the wound care community with a valuable service," said Robin Carlstein, Senior Vice President of Advanced Wound Devices at Smith & Nephew. "We believe that this process has the potential to create a consistent and global standard of care in NPWT. It will also help all manufacturers deliver smarter, more market-driven NPWT solutions."