Kickstart closure of hard-to-heal wounds

Advertorial by Smith+Nephew 

Source: APNA Primary Times Summer 2022-23 (Volume 22, Issue 2)

Chronic wounds, such as venous leg ulcers (VLUs) and diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), can require months of management. When presenting at primary care, patients with chronic wounds are typically referred to community-care teams, who provide wound care in patients’ homes or in residential aged-care settings. Now, a new treatment option is available for primary care teams that is single-use, cost-effective and portable, allowing for early intervention and faster closure of these types of wounds. 

A randomized, controlled trial (RCT) published in 2019 describes the PICO single-use negative pressure wound therapy (sNPWT) system as an effective treatment option for chronic wounds.1 The study showed that wounds treated with the PICO sNPWT healed twice as fast as those treated with traditional negative pressure wound therapy (tNPWT). Wound closure rates were 45% and 22% in the groups of patients treated with sNPWT and tNPWT, respectively. 

The PICO 14 single-use negative pressure wound therapy system has been designed to treat hard-to-heal wounds. In addition, subsequent experimental studies describe the PICO sNPWT’s mode of action and show how it delivers this efficacy with the following three attributes: 

  1. The PICO sNPWT can be used on shallow DFUs and VLUs without a filler. It reduces dressing change frequency and provides undisturbed healing that results in a less inflamed wound, increased reepithelialisation and greater wound closure.2 
  2. The PICO sNPWT contains a proprietary technology called the AIRLOCK technology that allows therapy to go beyond the wound whilst still managing exudate throughout the wear time. It delivers a healthy skin interface, protects the peri-wound and creates a pro-wound-healing environment.2,3,4 
  3. The PICO sNPWT device is a single-use disposable system. It is portable, it has no bulky canisters and is simple to use. Exit interviews from the RCT describe greater patient satisfaction in regards to comfort, mobility and sleep.1 In addition, a larger community evaluation study has shown positive nurse experiences with PICO in terms of the device handling and the dressing performance.5 

In summary, the PICO sNPWT delivers undisturbed healing, provides a wider zone of therapy, and is a simple and portable system. All these attributes work together to deliver superior clinical outcomes. Primary health care nurses are encouraged to consider the PICO sNPWT as a first-choice option for the early intervention and treatment of chronic wounds. 



  1. R Kirsner, C Dove, A Reyzelman, D Vayser, H Jaimes, ‘A prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of a single-use negative pressure wound therapy system, compared to traditional negative pressure wound therapy in the treatment of chronic ulcers of the lower extremities’, Wound Repair Regen, 2019, 27(5):519–529. 

2. VR Brownhill, E Huddleston, A Bell et al., ‘Pre-clinical assessment of single-use negative pressure wound therapy during in vivo porcine wound healing’, Adv Wound Care, 2020, 10(7):1–29. 

3. H Watkins, R Brownhill and E Huddleston, ‘Unlocking the mode of action: why might a no-canister, ultra-portable, single use negative pressure wound therapy (sNPWT) device be clinically superior to traditional negative pressure wound therapy (tNPWT)?’ Poster presented at the Wounds UK Annual Conference, 4–6 November 2019, Harrogate, UK, accessed 5 October 2022. 

4. HN Wilkinson, FL Longhorne, ER Roberts, VR Brownhill and MJ Hardman, ‘Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model’, Wound Rep Reg, 2021, 29:298–305. 

5. T Hurd, P Trueman and A Rossington, ‘Use of a portable, single-use negative pressure wound therapy device in home care patients with low to moderately exuding wounds: a case series’, Ostomy Wound Manage, 2014, 60(3):30–36. 


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