A vacuum-assisted closure pump applies negative pressure to a wound to draw the edges toward the center, drain fluids, stimulate the growth of cells, increase blood flow and improve healing response. Use of this pump requires special dressing to create an airtight seal, according to Wake Forest Baptist Health.
VAC treatment is useful in treating amputation, abdominal wounds and chronic chest wounds, reports Wake Forest Baptist Health. It is also used for spider bites and wounds that extend through the body.
VAC therapy is sometimes useful with certain types of pressure wounds or bedsores, according to Mayo Clinic. The negative pressure helps clean the wound and keep the area clean. In some cases, it is an alternative to surgery.
Benefits of VAC treatment include reduced hospital stays and increased patient comfort, Wake Forest Baptist Health explains. The therapy helps to heal wounds once thought untreatable.
Negative pressure wound therapy devices won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. Since that time, advances in dressings and devices have made the therapy safer, but it is essential that healthcare workers follow directions and observe warnings for the device, warns the FDA. VAC treatment may not be appropriate for all patients and has the potential for serious side effects or even death. If a patient is using the product at home, professionals should train that person on how to the device, how to respond to system alarms and how to look for signs of increased bleeding.