Low Cost Non-Electrical Instrument for Treating Large Wounds

  • Institution Country: Germany
  • Implementation Country: Syria, Yemen
  • Sector: Health
  • Funding Stage: Proof of Concept

Manual Negative Pressure Pump: Accessible Wound Treatment in Conflict Settings

By Pragmatic Innovation Inc.

In conflict zones and other fragile settings, blunt trauma from blasts, shelling, building collapse, or bed ulcers in quadraplegic patients can result in large open wounds accompanied by tissue loss. Properly treating these wounds is a huge medical challenge in low-resource conflict zones. Oftentimes, the wound is left unclosed for several weeks until it develops enough blood supply for closure, requiring daily dressing changes – a painful and complicated task that can easily become infected. Negative pressure (NP) or suction, which consistently draws blood supply to the wound, promoting oxygen and nutrient delivery, is a proven method for treating large wounds, but is very costly and not easily accessible in conflict settings.


Pragmatic Innovation is building a low-cost manually powered vacuum pump to help accelerate the treatment of large wounds. An air-tight dressing is placed over the wound and attached to a manually operated suction pump and drainage tube. Vacuum or negative pressure wound therapy significantly facilitates the healing of acute and chronic wounds, while preventing infection. Pragmatic Innovation’s apparatus is designed specifically for use in conflict-settings, at a fraction of the cost,  without electricity, and in patient’s homes.

Standard negative pressure interventions are costly and require consistent supply of electricity to function. In conflict settings they are unsustainable. Pragmatic Innovation’s apparatus in contrast is designed specifically for use in conflict-settings, at a fraction of the cost, and is operated manually, without electricity. Patients can continue treatment at home thus alleviating the burden on the already overburdened healthcare systems and eliminating the need for frequent visits to the clinic through dangerous routes.