Find the answers to the most commonly asked RENASYS* Negative Pressure Wound Therapy questions
How does it work?
RENASYS* NPWT systems consist of a therapy device, a canister with tubing, and a wound dressing kit. The dressing is applied to the wound bed and covered with a clear film dressing and attached to the therapy device using the tubing and canister. The therapy device then draws excess fluid from the wound into the canister while the clear film helps to prevent bacteria from entering the dressing. It may also improve blood flow to the wound via the vacuum which will help it to heal. The therapy devices are electrical and can be plugged in at the wall, and also can be operated by battery.
How long will it take to improve my wound?
The length of time that the therapy takes to improve a wound is different for every patient. It will depend on your general condition, the size and type of wound that you have, and the treatment you have been prescribed. In many cases, an improvement in the wound can be seen when the first dressing is changed, but in some cases, it may take several weeks. The therapy may be used to close the wound completely, or may be stopped sooner than this, and replaced with a different type of dressing. If your wound shows no improvement, the therapy might be stopped. Your nurse or doctor will discuss when, and why, it will be stopped when they assess your wound at each dressing change.
Will the therapy be painful?
The first time the therapy device is turned on, you may feel a slight pulling or drawing sensation, but it is not usually painful. If you experience any pain, please speak to your nurse or doctor for advice. They may recommend changing the settings on your device or may prescribe pain-relief medication.
How do I know if the RENASYS* therapy device is working?
While the RENASYS* GO therapy device is turned on a green light will illuminate. The illuminated light located at the top of the device tells you the device is on and vacuum is working. If the device is set to CONTINUOUS mode (recommended) the selected pressure is displayed on the screen. If the device is set to INTERMITTENT mode, the gauge will show zero pressure during "off time" and the set pressure while vacuum is occurring. While RENASYS* EZ Plus is turned on you will hear the device running and the set pressure will show on the gauge. It is important to monitor the activity of the device while you are using the therapy Also, make sure the plastic clamp on the drain tube is open.
What will the dressings look like when the therapy is working?
The dressings will shrink when the therapy is working, and the film dressing will look wrinkled and will be firm to the touch.
How often will the dressings have to be changed?
The gauze dressings will usually need to be changed 2-3 times a week, but in some cases, it may be more often than this. This will depend on the size, type, drainage amount and position of your wound. Your nurse or doctor will determine how often your dressings should be changed. If you are using a foam dressing, these will need to be changed every 48 hours.
Will the dressing changes hurt?
Some people may experience slight discomfort during dressing changes, specifically during cleaning of the wound, depending on the type and position of the wound. If you feel any discomfort, please tell the person who is changing your dressing. This way, they will be able to give you advice and, if necessary, pain-relief medication, to help ease the discomfort.
Can you move around while on the therapy?
Usually, patients using the therapy can move around, but this will depend on the position of the wound, the rest of your treatment, and recommendations provided by your nurse or doctor. If you are able to move around, the therapy device can be unplugged and operate on the battery back-up for up to 20 hours on RENASYS* GO or up to 40 hours on RENASYS* EZ Plus.
What is the best position for the therapy device, while therapy is being delivered?
The therapy device should be level with the dressing/wound site or slightly higher
What happens if the RENASYS* therapy device alarms?
Both RENASYS* GO and RENASYS* EZ Plus have audible and visual alarms, which make it easy to see what the problem is. Most problems are easily solved, for example:
- "Low Battery" - The device will begin to alert you when the battery life is getting low. Solve by plugging electrical cord into power outlet as soon as possible.
- "Low Vacuum" - The pressure may be low due to a leak in the dressing, tubing or canister, which can be resolved by the caregiver. Check the seal in and around your dressing, or make sure the canister is connected to the device correctly.
- "Over Vacuum" - If the vacuum pressure is too high and the device cannot self-correct, the RENASYS* devices will alarm and power off automatically.
- "Blockage/Canister Full" - If there is a blockage or kink in the tubing or the canister is full, the audible alarm will sound. The canister should be changed or the tubing blockage removed.
- "Leak or High Flow" - If there is a leak at the wound dressing site or between the wound and the device, the alarm will sound. Check the dressing seal or the tubing connection.
For complete alarm information, please see the Negative Pressure Device Instructions for Use in the Applications and Techniques section