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Wound V.A.C. – KCI Protocol Emergency General Surgery Service Vanderbilt University Medical Center 10 / 2004
Contributors: Sarah Debelak, APRN-BC Amanda Estapa, APRN-BC Ashlee Piercey, APRN-BC Dr. Jose Diaz, Jr., M.D. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: POLICY: Define process for implementation, application, and management of negative pressure therapy

The Wound V.A.C. will be provided to patients based on physician order

PROCEDURES: I. Indications for V.A.C. Therapy A. For patients who would benefit from sub atmospheric (negative) pressure therapy for promotion of wound healing B. For patients who would benefit from drainage and removal of infectious material or other fluids from wounds under the influence of continuous and/or intermittent sub
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unit settings per the Recommended Guidelines for Treating Wound Types Press THERAPY ON/OFF button to activate the negative pressure therapy Observe wound site for collapse and seal of the dressing 1. If collapse and seal are not apparent, assess dressing for leak which may create a whistling sound 2. Often leaks are fixed by gently pressing around the drape around the and/or edges of the foam to better seal the drape 3. Can also use excess drape to patch over leaks


Dressing Removal A. Raise the tubing connectors above the level of the therapy unit B. Tighten clamps on the dressing tubing and canister tubing and disconnect C. Press THERAPY ON/OFF to deactivate the pump D. Gently remove drape from the skin E Gently remove foam from wound 1. If foam dressing adheres to wound base, introduce 10-30 ml of normal saline into foam, let stand, and then remove 2. If foam dressing adheres to wound base, may consider applying a single layer of non-adherent, porous material such as Adaptic, Xeroform, or Mepitel to serve as a barrier between the wound base and the foam dressing F. Discard disposables in accordance with regulations Maintaining the V.A.C. Device A. The V.A.C. canister should be changed when full (unit will alarm) or weekly B. Patient may be disconnected from unit for specific activities, but no more than 2 hours per 24 hour period C. To disconnect from the unit: 1. Close clamps on the tubing 2. Turn the unit OFF 3. Disconnect the dressing tubing from canister

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