The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published new medical technology guidance supporting a device that aims to help improve the treatment of wounds.
The NICE guidance supports the case for adopting the Debrisoft monofilament debridement pad as part of the management of acute or chronic wounds in community settings. There are hundreds of thousands of patients with acute or chronic wounds who could benefit from Debrisoft, and if used for all of these patients with wounds that require debridement the device could save the NHS in the region of £15 million annually.
Debridement is a procedure to remove dead, damaged, or infected tissue from a wound to give the remaining healthy tissue a better chance to heal. Debrisoft is a single-use polyester fibre pad, which is wiped across the wound with gentle pressure. The dead cells, wound debris and pus are removed by sticking to the pad’s monofilament fibres. Using this device, debridement takes 2 to 4 minutes per wound, and is done without need for analgesia. There are several standard methods of debridement used which depend on the clinical setting and the type of wound, including using a scalpel, hydrogel, gauze swabs and jets of water.
The benefits that the Debrisoft pad is likely to provide compared with other debridement methods include enabling faster debridement with reduced frequency and number of episodes of care, particularly nurse visits, good tolerance by patients and convenience and ease of use. Based on modelling, the savings from using the Debrisoft pad in the community setting are estimated to be between £99 and £484 per patient for complete debridement compared with current practice.
Professor Carole Longson, Director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “We are pleased to publish final medical technology guidance supporting NHS use of the Debrisoft pad to treat acute or chronic wounds in the community. Chronic wounds, such as pressure and leg ulcers, and acute wounds such as those resulting from a burn or as a complication of surgery, affect hundreds of thousands of people.
“The independent Medical Technologies Advisory Committee concluded that the available evidence indicates that Debrisoft pad offers faster debridement than existing methods and that the savings demonstrated through cost modelling were credible. Using the device is estimated to potentially save the NHS up to £484 per patient for the complete debridement of a wound, compared to standard management. Overall, this is estimated to save the NHS in England £15 million annually.
“There are a range of benefits from using the pad including faster debridement of wounds, and fewer nurse visits needed. In addition, the manufacturer also claims that the device is more acceptable to patients than standard debridement methods, leading to reduced fear and anxiety associated with treatment. We hope that this positive NICE guidance encourages the NHS to use the Debrisoft pad, for the benefit of patients and the health service.”