RS14-007 Reducing necrotic tissue in acute and chronic wounds using a low frequency ultrasonic wound care system

Catherine R. Ratliff, PhD, APRN-BC, CWOCN1, Julie Armatas, ACNP-BC2, David Strider, DNP, ACNP-BC3, Margaret Tracci, MD4 and Gilbert Upchurch, MD4, (1)University of Virginia Health System, Associate Professor/Nurse Practitioner, Charlottesville, VA, (2)Cardiovascular Service, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, (3)Cardiovascular, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, (4)Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA

The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of an ultrasonic debridement device in the reduction of necrotic tissue burden in acute and chronic wounds.  


Thirty five patients were recruited from the outpatient wound service at a major academic medical center over a 3 month period.  


Institutional approval for the clinical trial was obtained. Patients seen in the wound clinic were recruited for the trial after wound assessment demonstrated necrotic or nonviable tissue in the wound. The Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool (BWAT) was used to obtain a score before and after debridement on the amount of necrotic tissue present in the wound.  Wound pain was assessed prior to treatment.  


Thirty-five patients received from 1 to 8 treatments for a total of 85 treatments over a 12 week period.  Eighteen females, ranging in age from 41 years to 88 years of age (mean age 61 years) and 17 males, ranging in age from 48 to 79 years of age (mean age 62 years) completed the trial. Fourteen of the patients had complicated postoperative wounds, and 21 of the patients had chronic wounds.

The efficacy of ultrasonic debridement was determined by comparing the values assigned to the subset score on the BWAT that looked at necrotic tissue amount.  The mean of all pre-treatment values was 2.9 out of a possible 5. The post-treatment mean value was 2.0, representing a decrease of 0.9 in the score for necrotic tissue. Five patients with baseline painful wounds were pre-treated with 4% Lidocaine gel applied to the wound bed prior to receiving ultrasonic debridement.


Ultrasonic debridement is an efficacious method for removal of necrotic tissue in acute and chronic wounds.