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Chronic wounds have not completed the process of healing in the expected time frame, usually within 30 days, or have proceeded through the healing phase without establishing the expected functional result. These wounds usually do not close without interventions, and are sometimes resistant to healing interventions.

Diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers or "bed sores," vascular ulcers, and complications of surgically created sternal wounds commonly become chronic wounds because their etiologies impede healing and they persist without proper medical care. For the purposes of this review, we consider chronic wounds to be those wounds present for more than 30 days and acute wounds to be those present for less than 30 days. Diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and infected sternal wounds are the chronic wounds most often treated with NPWT. Surgical wounds, burn wounds and trauma wounds are the most common acute wounds treated with NPWT.


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