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Integrative Trauma and Emergency Medicine


Case Report

University of Chicago Physical Therapist Role in Critical Wound Care: A Case Study of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Mieczyslawa Franczyk

Correspondence Address :

Mieczyslawa Franczyk, PT, PhD, MPH
The University of Chicago Medicine

Received on: March 26, 2018, Accepted on: April 04, 2018, Published on: April 13, 2018

Citation: Mieczyslawa Franczyk. (2018). University of Chicago Physical Therapist Role in Critical Wound Care: A Case Study of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Copyright: 2018 Mieczyslawa Franczyk. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

  • Abstract

Wound management has been a part of physical therapy practice since the existence of physical therapy in the United States and has been the focus of one of the systems in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice [1-4]. Wound management is a mandatory component of physical therapist education programs [5,6]. Physical therapists specializing in area of wound management have an opportunity to achieve certification through the American Board of Wound Management.
The University of Chicago Medicine (UOCM) is a facility with 800 beds and a reputation for managing difficult wound cases. The physical therapists in UOCM have been involved in wound care for over 40 years. Therapists manage wounds; burns, surgical wounds, chronic wounds, vascular conditions, diabetic wounds. Procedures therapists include are: selective debridement, pulsed lavage, hydrotherapy, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), dressing recommendation, electrical stimulation and serial casting. Prior to 1996 less than 5 patients a year were treated with NPWT. This changed after July of 1996. A 7-year old boy was run over by a fire truck. He sustained multiple injuries including an open pelvic fraction and eventually required hemipelvectomy. Surgeons managed him with NWPT, vacuum assisted closure (VAC; Kinetics Concepts, Inc., San Antonio, TX) therapy and delayed soft tissue reconstruction. The patient's course was remarkably free of problems, and he was rapidly discharged to a rehab facility and then home. Soon the hospital was one of KCI's larger accounts, and clinicians began to publish case series and expert opinions in support these techniques [7-9].
This paper is a practical guide for physical therapists and other clinicians involved in the care of patients with complex abdominal wounds with fistulae in acute and critical care settings focusing on NPWT for wound care and functional training of critical ill adult population.