Two healthcare workers examine a patients amputation stump that is connected to a V.A.C. Ulta Therapy Unit.

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.

  • 3M™ V.A.C.® Therapy

    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 hospitalization time and risk of complications.²,³

    • Consistently delivers the programmed amount of negative pressure
    • Creates an environment to promote wound healing
    • Reducing therapy days for post-acute patients has been shown⁴

    Learn more about V.A.C.® Therapy

  • 3M™ Veraflo™ 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, maximize patient comfort, and has been shown in comparative clinical studies to have the potential to lower the total cost of care⁵

    Learn more about Veraflo Therapy

  • 3M™ AbThera™ Therapy

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

    Learn more about AbThera Therapy

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. Rx only.

  • Graphic of five stages of bacteria attachment, replication, and dispersion

    The number of microorganisms with which an object is contaminated is referred to as the bioburden⁶. Susceptibility to therapy decreases as biofilm matures. Bioburden formation is commonly considered to occur in five main stages.⁷

    A) Stage one: reversible attachment. Free-floating bacteria attach to surface.⁸
    B) Stage two: permanent surface attachment. Bacteria can begin secreting matrix with 15 minutes of attachment.⁹
    C) Stage three: protective matrix/biofilm. Bacteria replicate as fast as every 30 minutes¹⁰and biofilm characteristics appear within 5 hours.¹¹
    D) Stage four: increasing tolerance to biocidesMature biofilm can be observed within 8 to 10 hours.¹¹,¹²
    E) Stage five: reformation. Dispersion of bacteria from mature biofilms causes recolonisation.⁸

    Wounds may be susceptible to contamination or the development of bioburden – key contributors to complications like infection, inflammation, and delayed healing. 3M™ 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.

    A) Day 0 of Veraflo Therapy - Wound on Day 9 before initiating 3M™ Veraflo™ Therapy.
    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.

Image showing 0 - 16 days progression of a transfemoral amputation wound

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.

  • Image showing 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.
    • Read this (see page 17) and 11 other case studies (PDF, 820 KB)

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 Foam and covered with a drape. A drainage tube exits the wound.

    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, 345 KB)

images left to right show: a pressure injury on adult heel, transparent film dressing on an infant hand, a patient with venous leg ulcer, a patient with diabetic foot ulcer.

Need help finding a wound care solution
in the care for your patients? 

The 3M Wound Therapy Guide can help assist you in selecting a wound care solution for your patient based on the attributes and treatment objectives you choose. This guide is intended for use by clinicians in the United States for outpatient care.*

You may also view all treatment approaches without specific recommendations.

View References

NOTE: Specific indications, warning, precautions and safety information exist for all 3M products and therapies. Prior to use of any medical device, it is important for
the provider to consult the treating physician and read and understand all Instructions for Use, including Safety Information, Application Instructions, and Therapy
Device Instructions.

*Wound care product options are generated based on the application, preferences and wound characteristics selected. Other 3M products may also be suitable/available. It is
up to each clinician to assess whether any product will meet their wound care objectives. Any product identified through this guide is not intended to promote compatibility or
convey combined use unless expressly indicated, or intended to substitute for clinicians’ clinical judgment.

3M does not make any claims that its products prevent, treat, or reduce the incidence of infection. For specific 3M products, please refer to the Instructions for Use.

Selection aid results to be used in conjunction with good clinical practice; utilize appropriate debridement and/or antibiotics where necessary. Untreated osteomyelitis
is contraindicated for use with 3M™ V.A.C.® Therapy. 3M™ Cavilon™ Advanced Skin Protectant is compatible with 3M acrylic negative pressure drapes.

1. Reproduced from WoundSource ( © 2021 HMP Global, Inc. Used with permission.
2. Reproduced from Scottsdale Wound Management Guide ( © 2021 HMP Global, Inc. Used with permission.

© 2023 3M. All rights reserved. 3M and the other marks shown are marks and/or registered marks. Unauthorized use prohibited.
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Clinical evidence shows opportunity for earlier initiation of NPWT¹³

  • A table shows the percent of wounds treated early, indicating opportunities to treat more traumatic wounds sooner.

    “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, 281 KB)

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

  • A bar graph shows the potential savings in cost with a taller bar representing the control and a shorter bar representing Veraflo Therapy

    Based upon the meta-analysis by Allen Gabriel, MD et al.¹⁴ 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.

    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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Explore solutions for different conditions

Looking for more information?

  • 3M is committed to providing customer service, including product reimbursement education and resources, to clinical providers and healthcare facilities that use qualified 3M products.

  • 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 product and NPWT product portfolio and browse our product catalog.

  • Find Instructions for Use (IFU) for specific 3M Health Care products.

  • 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. Law A L Krebs B. Karnik B. Griffin L. Comparison of Healthcare Costs Associated With Patients Receiving Traditional Negative Pressure Wound Therapies in the Post Acute Setting. Cureus 12(11): e11790. DOI 10.7759/cureus.11790.

    3. Page JC, Newsander B, Schwenke DC, Hansen M, Ferguson J. Retrospective analysis of negative pressure wound therapy in open foot wounds with significant soft tissue defects. Adv Skin Wound Care/ 2004;17(7):354-364.

    4. "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.

    5. 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.

    6. Bjarnsholt T, Eberlein T, Malone M, Schultz G. Management of wound biofilm made easy. London: Wounds International 2017; 8(2).

    7. A fact a day – biofilms and wound care. Wound Source. 2018. Available at:

    8. Costerton JW, Stewart PS, Greenberg EP. Bacterial Biofilms: A Common Cause of Persistent Infection. Science. 1999; 284 (5418):1318-1322.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    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.