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Treatment of Dehisced, Thoracic Neonatal Wounds With Single-Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Device and Medical-Grade Honey

A Retrospective Case Series

Boyar, Vita

Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing: March/April 2018 - Volume 45 - Issue 2 - p 117–122
doi: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000407
Wound Care

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to report on our experience with a portable, single-use negative pressure wound therapy device used in combination with activated active Leptospermum honey (ALH) in the treatment of colonized or infected, dehisced, thoracic wounds in neonates with complex congenital heart disease.

DESIGN: Retrospective, descriptive study.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING: We reviewed medical records of 18 neonates and reported on findings from 11; the remaining 7 were not included secondary to incomplete records, transfer to a different institution prior to wound healing, or death. The median age of our patients was 12 days (range, 2 days to 5 weeks); their mean gestational age was 34 weeks. All of the neonates had acquired postoperative wound dehiscence that were colonized or infected and were treated in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Cohen Children's Medical Center (New Hyde Park, New York), a regional perinatal center with a level 4 NICU.

METHODS: Wound cultures were obtained on all patients prior to treatment commencement. All cultures were repeated on day 4 of treatment. Systemic antibiotics were administered as necessary. No complications were observed related to the use of negative pressure wound therapy device and ALH. All patients were followed until discharge home or transfer to another facility. The pain scores during placement and removal were acceptable (between 1 and 3; median = 2) using the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale. Staff and parents indicated that the combination of ALH and the negative pressure wound therapy device did not interfere with daily care and parental bonding.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of ALH and a single-use negative pressure wound therapy device was successful in this series of 11 neonates with complex congenital heart disease.

Vita Boyar, MD, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, New York; and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York.

Correspondence: Vita Boyar, MD, 269-01 76 Ave, Ste 344, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 (

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.