Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy in Infants and Children: A Population-Based Study

Katherine B. Santosa, Matt Keller, Margaret A. Olsen, Alexandra M. Keane, Erika D. Sears, Alison K. Snyder-Warwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Although the safety and benefits of negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) have been clearly demonstrated in the adult population, studies evaluating the safety and describing the use of NPWT in the pediatric population have been limited. Given this paucity, the goals of this study were to (1) evaluate the literature dedicated to NPWT use in infants and children and (2) leverage a population-level analysis to describe the experience of NPWT use in the pediatric population. Materials and methods: We performed a literature review and analyzed the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims Databases from 2006 to 2014 to identify infants and children treated with NPWT. We evaluated patient characteristics, indications, complications before and after NPWT placement, and health care utilization within 30 d of NPWT placement. Results: We identified 457 articles, 11 of which fit our inclusion criteria. Most studies (65.2%) were case reports or series with less than 10 patients. In addition, we identified 3184 patients aged younger than of 18 y who were treated with NPWT between 2006 and 2014. Serious incident complications within 30 d after NPWT placement were rare (bleeding 0.6%, septicemia 0.5%, and sepsis 0.5%). Conclusions: Despite the lack of robust studies, NPWT is widely used for many indications and across different ages and providers. Given the low incidence of serious complications, we conclude that NPWT use in infants and children is safe and can be effectively used by different providers spanning surgical and nonsurgical disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Adverse effects
  • Children
  • Infants
  • Negative-pressure wound therapy
  • Therapeutic use
  • Vacuum-assisted closure


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