Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC®) systems and microbiological isolation of infected wounds

Valerio Cozza, Gilda Pepe, Marco Cintoni, Flavio De Maio, Giuseppe Tropeano, Sabina Magalini, Gabriele Sganga, Giovanni Delogu, Daniele Gui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Negative pressure wound therapy is now largely used to treat infected wounds. The prevention and reduction of healthcare-associated infections is a high priority for any Department of Health and great efforts are spent to improve infection control systems. It is assumed that vacuum-assisted closure (VAC®) dressings should be watertight and that all the secretions are gathered in a single container but there is no consistent data on air leakage and possible dispersion of bacteria from the machine. Methods: We have conducted a prospective experimental study on 10 patients with diagnosis of wound infection to verify whether the filtration process is microbiologically efficient. We compared the bacteria population present in the wound to the one present in the air discharged by the VAC® machine. Results: This study shows that the contamination of the VAC® machine is considerably lower than the environment or wound contamination. Conclusions: Negative pressure wound therapy system does not represent a risk factor for healthcare-associated infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2018


  • Infection control
  • Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Wound contamination
  • Wound infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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