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Transforming negative pressure wound therapy

Complications from surgical incisions are a significant burden. In the UK alone, they cost the National Health Service approximately £1 billion1 each year, not to mention the cost to human life. However, a recent consensus guideline from the World Union of Wound Healing Societies reports that up to 60% of surgical site infections (SSIs) are preventable2. Our wound solutions are improving access to healthcare.

In 2018, for example in Europe, we launched our new PICO 7Y Single Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System (sNPWT) with AIRLOCK™ Technology. This is the first sNPWT system that enables two wounds to be addressed at the same time, potentially reducing costs. It includes a check dressing indicator, which is intended to reduce unnecessary dressing changes and wastage3 and is 23% quieter than the first generation PICO4, making it less intrusive for patients.

PICO 7Y is the latest addition to the PICO family of sNPWT products, revolutionising the use of negative pressure wound therapy by making a treatment, previously predominantly used in a hospital inpatient setting, available to a wider range of outpatients in a cost-effective, portable solution5.

PICO has been shown to significantly reduce wound complications.

In a study with patients undergoing therapeutic mammoplasty, PICO reduced the incidence of post-surgical wound dehiscence (wound separation) by 75% compared with standard care, thereby reducing the potential for delay in the commencement of follow-up therapy6. A further study concludes that PICO significantly reduced SSIs compared with standard dressings in high-risk obese women undergoing caesarean section. Wound secretion was also significantly reduced with PICO sNPWT use7.

Furthermore, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued a Medtech innovation briefing on the prophylactic use of PICO, which highlighted its potential to be more effective at preventing surgical site infections than standard surgical dressings. This is the first and only such briefing published by NICE on an NPWT device for preventing such complications.

With PICO and its unique design, we are transforming negative pressure wound therapy. Thanks to its growing body of evidence and adoption around the world, healthcare providers can now confidently access a therapy that may help them avoid costly complications, and more importantly, increase the number of their patients returning to their lives as soon as possible.


1. Guest J et al, Health economic burden that different wound types impose on the UK’s National Health Service. Int Wound J 2016; doi: 10.1111/iwj.12603.

2. World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Consensus Document. Closed surgical incision management: understanding the role of NPWT. Wounds International, 2016.

3. PICO 7Y lndicator activation test report. Internal Report. RD.18.074 v1. 2018; and PICO 7Y Human Factors Summary. Internal Report. WMP/16/533/UEF/R15.2018.

4. Smith & Nephew. 2018. PICO 7Y Device Noise Test Report. Internal Report RD.18.076 v2; and Data on File Report – DS/17/701/R. Dec 2017 Acoustic Testing Report: Comparison of PICO 7 to PICO 1.6 Devices.

5. Hurd, T. Evaluating the costs and benefits of innovations in chronic wound care products and practices. Ostomy Wound Management. 2013; Supplement (June): 1–16. Available at: Accessed 24 September 2018; and Smith & Nephew. March 2018. Kendal PICO 7Y – pump weight and dimensions. Internal Report. DS.18.066.R.

6. Holt R and Murphy J. PICO incision closure in oncoplastic breast surgery: a case series. Br J Hosp Med 2015; 76:217-223. Reduction in wound breakdown: 24 patients; PICO 4.2%; standard dressings 16.7%. Number of patients too small to test for statistical significance.

7. Hyldig N, Vinter CA, Kruse M, et al. Prophylactic incisional negative pressure wound therapy reduces the risk of surgical site infection after caesarean section in obese women: A pragmatic randomised clinical trial. BJOG. 2018 Aug 1. Epub ahead of print. Available at: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Sustainability report 2018