Vacuum assisted closure VAC therapy Dressing change (1328)

Key points below

What is V.A.C.® Therapy?

V.A.C. Therapy helps a wound heal. It is a system with a soft vacuum in it. It:

V.A.C. dressing placement

When the dressing is first put on, some children feel a mild pulling. After a few minutes, this goes away.  

Who will change the dressing when my child is in the hospital?

Your child’s doctor, or a physician assistant, nurse practitioner,  or nurse working with your child’s doctor, will change the dressing when in the hospital.
The dressing change may be done in the Operating Room or in the treatment room on the unit.
You and your child will be prepared, no matter where the dressing is changed.

Who will change the dressing when my child is at home?

How do I remove the dressing?

Give your child pain medicine 20 minutes before you start to take the dressing off.
1. Gather the supplies.
2. Raise the tubing clamps above the level (higher than) the therapy unit.
3. Close the clamp on the tubing going to the dressing. 
4. Separate the canister tubing and dressing tubing. Let any remaining fluid in the tubing run into the canister.
5. Close the clamp on the tubing going to the therapy unit.
6. Press the THERAPY ON/OFF button to turn the unit off.
7. Wait 30 seconds for the foam to “puff up”.

Note:  At this point, you may take a syringe with one ounce (30 mL) tap water.  Connect it to the tubing that leads to the dressing.  Unclamp the tubing and gently push water up into dressing. Wait 15 minutes and then continue taking the dressing off. 

Remove the drape by gently pulling to the side.  Try not to pull straight up. Gently remove foam from the wound.

Can my child bathe when at home? 


Call your child’s doctor, nurse or clinic if you or your child have any concerns or your child:

  • Has signs of wound infection: redness, swelling, bad-smelling drainage.
  • Has a temperature over 101.2° F (38° C).
  • Is not interested in eating or drinking or is eating or drinking very little.
  • Feels sick to their stomach or is throwing up.
  • Has pain that does not get better with medicine.
  • Has special health care needs not covered by this information.