A small and simple device provides comfort to patients.

Earlier this year, the Hospital purchased a new Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Machine (NPWT).

It was one of over 100 of pieces of patient care equipment purchased with the 2016-17 funds transfer from the Foundation to the Hospital.

The new NPWT is a small but handy little device. It’s about the size of a small purse and cost $17,000 to purchase. It was one of four items funded with donations made by the Hospital’s amazing Volunteer Association.

The technology is quite simple. It applies negative pressure to a wound (which creates suction) and this helps the wound heal up to three times faster than without it.

Oscar Reimer, Clinical Educator at Guelph General Hospital explained:

Cell division of the tissue cells within the wound is stimulated and this causes cells to multiply more quickly. The suction also helps keep the wound clean and assists in bringing blood (and nutrients) to the wound to help with healing.

Also, NPWT dressings are changed about three times per week compared to conventional gauze dressings that are changed once to twice a day (sometimes more depending on the wound). As dressing changes slow down the wound healing process, the more often a wound is dressed the slower the healing. And, decreasing the frequency of dressing changes is a great thing for the patient, as they can be uncomfortable procedures.

Many types of wounds can benefit from NPWT, including surgical wounds, pressure injury wounds, and chronic ulcers. Because wounds improve faster and with more comfort to the patient, more and more physicians at Guelph General are requesting it for their patients. The Hospital now has three NPWT machines but often still rents more due to increase in use and need.

Too often we neglect to tell the stories of the many small items that are purchased with kind donations each and every year. No matter the size or price tag, each and every new piece of patient care equipment has a significant impact on patient care at our Hospital.

We are thankful for the Guelph General Hospital Volunteer Association for funding this helpful device.

Donors help fund every piece of patient care equipment at Guelph General Hospital. This is how we save lives and improve health, together with our community.

In the photo shown above, Oscar Reimer, Clinical Educator at GGH, shows members of the Guelph General Hospital Association how the NPWT works.