Nursing Wound Vac Checklist

  1. I'm wondering if any home care or hospitals have a nursing checklist for assessing a wound vac... we have had multiple errors as it is used so infrequently.. I'm thinking of creating a very basic checklist (is the unit plugged in? is it set correctly? etc) I'm just wondering if there is a checklist others are using?

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    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 51; Likes: 14


  3. by   SeaH20RN
    If you know the manufacture of the vac. call them they should have a local rep. or go on line. The company could provide you with check list / trouble shooting if errors are detected. I hope this helps.
  4. by   nancyjean68
    That's right. When you first received the wound vac, the company should have done an inservice to show you how the machine operates AND they show you how to place the dressing properly, if it is not a nurse showing you the dressing - one of your nurses would do it - that way they learn hands on and can show others. The inservice should include: plugged in, setting, drainage canister changing schedule, the tubing would be changed with each dressing change, also noting how many dressing are left so you know when to reorder them. If they are used more often as PRN then you need to make adjustments and that's when your med/treatment nurse will need to be on top of that ordering process. Depending on the wound, most dressings can be changed twice a week with maybe 1 PRN for soiling. The dressing should always appear tight, that way you know if the suction is working. The machine should have an alarm that sounds if the seal is broken. Again, I am probably telling you tings you already know, but the wound vac company can inservice you and they would love to because it's good customer service and PR. Just FYI, a wound vac works best after debridement and/or very little to no slough. I do not work for any company but coloplast wound gel....a little dab'll do ya!
  5. by   rehabwoundnurse
    Most companies will even send a rep out to do in services with the staff. That's where I would start.
  6. by   CWONgal
    If your facility uses KCI or even Smith and Nephew you they have great nurses who are very supportive and willing to come in and assist. Nancy Jean had a lot of good comments. Wound vacs are more involved than people think. The dressings are generally changed three times a week. When troubleshooting a vac w/ a leak you need to look at the wound location (is it in a moist area? Will Eakin's help secure the film?). I have found people miss the leak at the tubing connection between the tracpad and the canister. If you aren't careful you can break the little notch off and thus not have good suction. If you see an occlusion alert what I have found is that disconnecting the tubing and instilling some saline down to the tracpad and withdrawing in a pulsatile fashion back and forth several times helps correct the problem. Unfortunately some of it is just experience! Call the companies and they will help you out with inservices/literature. Additionally, a contact phone number for the company is typically on the can call them and they can help troubleshoot. I think one of the most important pieces of information is this...if your machine isn't working properly and you don't have a good seal do not leave the foam dressing in place for longer than 2 hours. Remove it and place a moistened saline gauze until you can get assistance.

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