Both negative wound pressure therapy (NPWT) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) are useful modalities in the treatment of problem wounds. However, none of the commercially available portable negative-pressure devices have been certified safe for use in a recompression chamber. Thus, the NPWT device is removed while the patient undergoes HBOT. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that wound negative pressure can be effectively and safely maintained during HBOT. In a small, prospective, randomised crossover trial, we used commonly available clinical materials to connect the NPWT suction tubing to the negative suction generating device in the hyperbaric chamber. Six patients each underwent one HBOT session with continuous NPWT and one HBOT session without concurrent NPWT. We assessed the patient’s pain score, the amount of exudate aspirated by the NPWT during HBOT, and the appearance of the wound dressing after each session was assessed in a blinded manner. There were no differences in pain scores between the two HBOT sessions. The amount of exudate aspirated during HBOT with NPWT ranged from 5 to 12 ml. Five of the six patients had a better appearance scoring of their dressing when NPWT was maintained during HBOT (P = 0.006). We successfully demonstrated a simple design that allows the maintenance of NPWT during HBOT without causing additional pain, and with continued extraction of exudate. The maintenance of NPWT during HBOT also allowed the dressing to be maintained undisturbed.

Chong, Kwan, Weihao, Joang, Rick, , , , (2011). Maintenance of negative-pressure wound therapy while undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Diving and hyperbaric medicine, 2011 Sep;41(3):147-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21948500