Outcomes of vacuum-assisted closure for the treatment of wounds in a paediatric population: case series of 58 patients

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Nov;62(11):1428-36. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2008.06.033. Epub 2008 Oct 4.


Objective: This retrospective case series describes our experiences and outcomes using the vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) Therapy System for the management of difficult acute and chronic wounds in paediatric patients.

Summary background data: Difficult wounds that cannot be closed primarily can create major challenges in paediatric patient care. Decreasing the time to wound closure is especially critical when managing paediatric patients.

Methods: A retrospective review of medical records for 58 consecutive paediatric patients treated with VAC therapy was performed. Demographics, diagnosis, length of therapy, time to closure, time to discharge, type of VAC dressing used, dressing change schedule, therapy settings, and complications were recorded for each patient.

Results: The median age of all 58 patients was 10 years (range, 10 days to 16 years). Fifty-four of the 58 wounds reached full closure. Patients were divided into five different groups according to diagnosis. The median time to closure for each group follows: Group 1 (abdominal wounds) 10 days (range, 3-99 days); Group 2 (surgical soft tissue deficit) 12 days (range, 3-30 days); Group 3 (trauma wounds) 7 days (range, 3-10 days); Group 4 (stage III/IV pressure ulcers) 15 days (range, 14-15 days); Group 5 (fasciotomy wounds) 5 days (range, 5-10 days). No complications were recorded for any of the patients.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate that VAC therapy may be a viable, safe and effective method of managing this difficult-to-treat population.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Injuries / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Bandages
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy*
  • Pressure Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Pressure Ulcer / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / surgery
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery*