Healthcare workers examine a patients amputation

Smarter solutions to manage traumatic wounds

After a traumatic injury, every touchpoint matters.


Practice efficient medicine with smarter ways to manage traumatic wounds

  • The choices you make at each care-delivery step require careful consideration of risks and outcomes. As you evaluate and care for burns, lacerations, open fractures, amputations and other traumatic wounds, we offer the support of our innovative products and world-class education — all backed by patient-centered science. Together, we can strive to reduce preventable complications, drive toward better outcomes and, ultimately, aspire to restore patients’ lives.

    Traumatic wounds account for approximately 5.4% of all emergency department visits.1

3M solutions for traumatic wound treatment

As you evaluate patients with traumatic wounds, consider the negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) that best matches your treatment goals — from cleansing contaminated wounds to protecting open abdomens.

  • An integrated wound management system designed and clinically shown to create an environment that promotes wound healing. V.A.C.® Therapy has demonstrated in published studies the potential to help reduce hospitalisation time2,3 and risk of complications.4,5

    • Consistently delivers the programmed amount of negative pressure
    • Creates an environment to promote wound healing
    • Reducing therapy days for post-acute patients has been shown6

    Learn more about V.A.C.® Therapy

  • Veraflo Therapy combines the benefits of NPWT with automated instillation and dwell of topical wound solution to provide simultaneous cleansing and granulation tissue formation.

    • Manage bioburden through repetitive wound cleansing
    • Prepare wounds for closure, maximise patient comfort, and and has been shown in comparative clinical studies to have the potential to lower the total cost of care.7

    Learn more about Veraflo Therapy

  • AbThera Therapy helps protect abdominal contents from the external environment, allows rapid access for re-entry, provides medial tension8,9,10, and fluid removal. It helps to draw together wound edges and helps to achieve primary fascial closure.

    Learn more about AbThera Therapy

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  • Graphic of stages of bacteria attachment, replication and dispersion

    Traumatic wounds are dirty

    The number of microorganisms with which an object is contaminated is referred to as the bioburden. Susceptibility to therapy decreases as biofilm matures. Bioburden formation is commonly considered to occur in five main stages.11

    A) Stage one: reversible attachment. Free-floating bacteria attach to surface.12
    B) Stage two: permanent surface attachment. Bacteria can begin secreting matrix with 15 minutes of attachment.13
    C) Stage three: protective matrix/biofilm. Bacteria replicate as fast as every 30 minutes10 and biofilm characteristics appear within 5 hours.14
    D) Stage four: increasing tolerance to biocides. Mature biofilm can be observed within 8 to 10 hours.15,9
    E) Stage five: reformation. Dispersion of bacteria from mature biofilms causes recolonisation.12

    Wounds may be susceptible to contamination or the development of bioburden – key contributors to complications like infection, inflammation, and delayed healing. Veraflo Therapy combines vacuum assisted drainage with automated topical wound solution distribution to cleanse and remove wound debris helping to reduce bioburden.

Case study excerpt: 3M™ V.A.C. Veraflo Cleanse Choice™Dressing - traumatic wound

  • Following a boating injury, a 26-year-old female received a transfemoral amputation resulting in a soft tissue defect. During transportation to the facility, the patient had a Combat Tourniquet and received 13 units of packed red blood cells and eight units of fresh frozen plasma. The wound was surgically debrided and irrigated at different stages of the treatment. She received therapeutic plasma exchange, continuous renal replacement therapy after being diagnosed with macrophage activation syndrome, and V.A.C.® Therapy at -125mmHg. When surgical debridement was not an option, Veraflo Therapy was initiated using a V.A.C. Veraflo Cleanse Choice Dressing, instilling 100ml of 0.125% Dakin’s Solution to help remove devitalized tissue. As wound healing progressed, Veraflo Therapy was transitioned to using 3M™ V.A.C. Veraflo™ Dressing, instilling 80ml normal saline. After the tangential excision and split-thickness skin graft, it was covered with a non-adherent layer and bolstered using V.A.C.® Therapy applied at -125mmHg. Systemic antibiotics were administered throughout the patient’s treatment period.

0 - 16 days progression of a transfemoral amputation wound
  • A) Day 0 of Veraflo Therapy - Wound on Day 9 before initiating Veraflo Therapy.
    B) B) Day 4 of Veraflo Therapy – wound healing progressed.
    C) Day 16 of Veraflo Therapy – Wound on day 25 with significant granulation tissue present and a considerable amount of coverage over the femur fragment.

    Patient data and photos courtesy of Brandon Hill, RN, CWCN, FACCWS; Ochsner Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, Shreveport, LA

    As with any case study, the results and outcomes should not be interpreted as a guarantee or warranty of similar results. Individual results may vary depending on the patient’s circumstances and condition.

Case study excerpt: traumatic wound develops infection, requires cleansing

  • A 33-year-old male amputee with history of tobacco use, anemia, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus presented with an infection of above-the-knee stump. Conservative sharp debridement was performed at the bedside, and oral antibiotics were initiated. As the wound required further cleansing, Veraflo Therapy using V.A.C. Veraflo Cleanse Choice Dressing was started. Hypochlorous solution (80-100 mL) was instilled with a 10-minute dwell time, followed by 2 hours of negative pressure at -125 mmHg. Dressing changes occurred every three days. After nine days, Veraflo Therapy was discontinued, and V.A.C.® Therapy was initiated.

0 - 9 days progression of an infection of a traumatic wound
  • Day 0 Wound at presentation
    Day 6 of Veraflo Therapy using V.A.C. Veraflo Cleanse Choice Complete Dressing
    Day 9 of Veraflo Therapy using V.A.C. Veraflo Cleanse Choice Complete Dressing

    Patient data and photos courtesy of Luis Fernandez, MD, FACS, FASAS, FCCP, FCCM, FICS, University of Texas Health Science Center, Tyler, TX.

    As with any case study, the results and outcomes should not be interpreted as a guarantee or warranty of similar results. Individual results may vary depending on the patient’s circumstances and condition.

Case study excerpt: temporary closure using AbThera Therapy Therapy™ Open Abdomen Negative Pressure Therapy following motor vehicle accident

  • After he was struck by an automobile, a 37-year-old pedestrian required an emergency laparotomy showing massive bleeding from a grade IV liver injury. The patient developed severe bowel edema, so surgeons performed damage control and used AbThera Therapy for temporary abdominal closure (TAC).

    3M™ AbThera™ Advance Perforated Foam was cut to the size and shape of the opening and was placed over the visceral protective layer. 3M™ V.A.C.® Drape and tubing were placed over the dressing to create a seal, and the tubing was connected to the AbThera Therapy unit. Early definitive abdominal wall closure reduced the risk of complications and the need for subsequent surgeries.

An open abdomen wound is packed with AbThera Perforated
  • A) Application of AbThera Fenestrated Visceral Protective Layer.
    B) AbThera Therapy was used for 9 days.
    C) Definitive closure on Day 9.

    Patient data and photos courtesy of Demetrios Demetriades, MD, PhD, FACS Professor of Surgery Director, Division of Acute Care Surgery, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

    As with any case study, the results and outcomes should not be interpreted as a guarantee or warranty of similar results. Individual results may vary depending on the patient’s circumstances and condition.

    Read the full case study (PDF, 365 KB)

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Clinical evidence shows opportunity for earlier initiation of NPWT16

  • A table shows the percent of wounds treated early

    “Early” defined as treatment for acute, including traumatic, wounds started within the first seven days

    When looking at real-world NPWT initiation at wound care centers (WCCs), approximately 60% of traumatic wounds (n=919) received early therapy — within the first seven days. Based on this data, WCCs have an opportunity to initiate 3M™ V.A.C.® Therapy earlier, potentially improving outcomes for more patients.

    Read full study details (PDF, 562 KB)

Use of Veraflo Therapy can potentially reduce costs versus standard of care

  • graph shows the potential savings in cost

      Based upon the meta-analysis by Allen Gabriel, MD et al.17 an economic model was developed to compare the cost of using Veraflo Therapy to traditional wound care options including V.A.C.® Therapy.

      Despite higher therapy cost of Veraflo Therapy, the reduction in therapy time and required OR visits resulted in a potential savings of 50%, or up to $33,337 per patient.17

      Note: The model uses select study data to provide an illustration of estimates of costs for use of Veraflo Therapy or Standard of Care (Control). This model is an illustration and not a guarantee of actual individual costs, savings, outcomes or results. The facility is advised to use this model as an illustration only to assist in an overall assessment of products and pricing.

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  • We are here to help! Get in touch with our customer support team for advice about our products and how to use them.

  • View our advanced wound care and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and I.V. dressings portfolios and browse our product catalogue.

  • Find answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding 3M Health Care.

  • Find Instructions for Use (IFU) to easily access documents for specific 3M Health Care products.

NOTE: Specific indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and safety information exist for these products and therapies. Please consult a clinician and product instructions for use prior to application. This material is intended for healthcare professionals.


  1. Prevaldi C, et al. Management of traumatic wounds in the Emergency Department: position paper from the Academy of Emergency Medicine and Care (AcEMC) and the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES). World J Emerg Surg. 2016 Jun 18;11:30.
  2. Blume PA, Walters J, Payne W, Ayala J, Lantis J. Comparison of negative pressure wound therapy using vacuum-assisted closure with advanced moist wound therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2008;31:631-636.
  3. Armstrong DG, Lavery LA, Diabetic Foot Study Consortium. Negative pressure wound therapy after partial diabetic foot amputation: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2005;366:1704-1710.
  4. Scherer LA, Shiver S, Chang M, Meredith JW, Owings JT. The vacuum assisted closure device: a method of securing skin grafts and improving graft survival. Arch Surg. 2002;137:930-934.
  5. Falagas ME, Tansarli GS, Kapaskelis A, Vardakas KZ. Impact of vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy on clinical outcomes of patients with sternal wound infections: a meta-analysis of non-randomized studies. PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e64741.
  6. Baharestani MM. Driver VR. Optimizing clinical and cost effectiveness with early intervention of V.A.C.® Therapy. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2008;54(11 Suppl):1-15.
  7. Kim PJ, Lookess S, Bongards C, Griffin LP, Gabriel A. Economic model to estimate cost of negative pressure wound therapy with instillation vs control therapies for hospitalised patients in the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom. International Wound Journal. 2022 May;19(4):888-894.
  8. Armstrong DG, Marston WA, Reyzelman AM, Kirsner RS. Comparative effectiveness of mechanically powered negative pressure wound therapy devices: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Wound Rep Reg. 2012;20(3):332-341.
  9. Atema JJ, Gans SL, Boermaster MA. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Open Abdomen and Temporary Abdominal Closure Techniques in Non-trauma Patients. World J Surg. 2015;39(4):912-925.
  10. Cheatham ML, Demetriades D, Fabian TC, et al. Study Examining Clinical Outcomes Associated with a Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System and Barker’s Vacuum Packing Technique. World J Surg. 2013; 37(9):2018-2030.
  11. Bjarnsholt T, Eberlein T, Malone M, Schultz G. Management of wound biofilm made easy. London: Wounds International 2017; 8(2).
  12. A fact a day – biofilms and wound care. Wound Source. 2018. Available at:
  13. Costerton JW, James R., Greenberg EP. Bacterial Biofilms: A Common Cause of Persistent Infection. Science. 1999; 284 (5418):1318-1322.
  14. Davies DG, Geesey GG. Regulation of the Alginate Biosynthesis Gene algC in Pseudomonas aeruginosa during Biofilm Development in Continuous Culture. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995; 61(3):860-867.
  15. Cicmanec F, Holder IA. Growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Normal and Burned Skin Extract: Role of Extracellular Proteases. Infect Immun. 1979; 25(2):477-483.
  16. Harrison-Balestra C, Cazzaniga BS, Davis SC, et al. A Wound-Isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa Grows a Biofilm In Vitro Within 10 Hours and Is Visualized by Light Microscopy. Dermatol Surg. 2003: 29(6):631-635.
  17. Schaber JA, Triffo WJ, Suh SJ, et al. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Forms Biofilms in Acute Infection Independent of Cell-to-Cell Signaling. Infect Immun. 2007; 75 (8):3715-3721.
  18. Miller-Mikolajczyk C, James R. Real world use: comparing early versus late initiation of negative pressure wound therapy on wound surface area reduction in patients at wound care clinics. Poster presented at The Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Annual Conference, June 22-26, 2013. Seattle, Washington.
  19. Gabriel A, Camardo M, O'Rorke E, Gold R, Kim PJ. Effects of Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy With Instillation versus Standard of Care in Multiple Wound Types: Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2021 Jan 1;147(1S-1):68S-76S.
  20. Kim PJ, Lookess S, Bongards C, Griffin LP, Gabriel A. Economic model to estimate cost of negative pressure wound therapy with instillation vs control therapies for hospitalised patients in the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom. International Wound Journal. 2022 May;19(4):888-894.