Woundvac and bad smell..

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Hey everyone!

I've got the woundvac today for already 2 week, and until now everything seems to be fine: the wound is getting less deep and seems to be less painful. But since a few days, I can smell everytime the woundfluid. Most of the time this happens one day before they'll change the sponges. But, last Monday, just after they changed it, and when i was back home again, I also smelled it. It's a really strange odour, and I'm afraid that the woundvac isn't vacuum or something. There shouldn't be a smell, if it's vacuum right?Because that should be closed for oxygen... or am I wrong about that?

First I thought that the smell came out of the pump itself (from the place where the woundfluid is stored after it came out of the tube), but now it is coming from the plastics which are put over the sponges. Has anyone else got experiences with this?


Greets Hanneke:)
I had the same problem. It is either the canister...Beleive it or not... or there could be the tiniest little leak...so little that you or the nurses can't notice it..it could be that. its nothing to really worry about...aparently everyone experiences that smell....but it is one of those 2things i just mentioned

I asked the question about the smell last Thursday in the hospital. He told me he had really no idea what's the cause of it. :confused: I asked him about what Louiseh said, and he doesn't think it's because of the canister. He can't imagine that this would leak, because that would mean it couldn't suck vacuüm.

Anyway, after he renewed the sponge, the smell was gone. I went happy to home.
But... the next day it started again. First it was a little bit and I thought it was coming out of the bag I carry with me (which has the woundvac in it), that this smell rested because of the last time I smelled it.

Friday the smell became more and more intense, and today it's really awful... it's really a bad, strong smell........ :(
I don't care about a bit of smell, but with this intensity of the smell, it's impossible to visit someone... it's really too much!! [:xx]

Did you have the same thing? That the smell is really really intense??
Because if it's such a small leak, it can't produce this much of odour?
Yup....the TINIEST itty bitty little leak can cause that. Thats why mine stunk so much. It's gassy built up smelly air that pushes out...even with a tiny little leak that is almost un-noticable. Due from the "gasses". I know, I hated wearing the vac...due to that reason and also the pain it caused when I had dressing changes. I am having my 3rd surgery in 12 days and am hoping i dont get the vac back on again [=(]
Thanks a lot for your reply, Carrie!! :)

I'm going to ask my surgeon if I can wash the bag, which I wear with the Vac... Maybe it helps a bit against the smell.. :rolleyes:

The stank is really enourmous.. everytime I walk into a room now, we've got to open a window or something.. :eek:
[:8)] Yay!!! We found a solution for the smell............. :)

A small update about how it's now....

I went to the hospital for a new changing of the sponges two times this week: last Monday and yesterday..

Monday, the smell was still awful. When I arrived at the hospital, I almost didn't dare to step in the lift, :$ , and when I came in the threatingroom, my doctors immediately noticed it. It was so bad, that the wound nurse ran out of the room, to call KCI directly to deliver a new pump and bag ;)

When they removed the plastics, they saw that at one spot, the sponge sucked directly at my skin instead of on the sponge. That's painful, I found out :'( especially to remove it then.. but there was good news: the wound looked really great........ it's healing quite fast now!!!
They also found out that the duoderm (which is placed underneath the plastics to protect my skin) caused a lot of the smell. So, this time when they placed the plastics, they left the duoderm away..... to see if that was the real cause of the smell.

I went happily back to home, with a new sponge, but with the old pump, they would deliver that Tuesday.

Tuesday the new pump came and so a new bag. And away was the smell...... soooooooooo glad to be able to walk through a room again, without having to open the window ;)

Wednesday I noticed some blood after having faeces, but I thought that it was a small vein that broke. No worries.

Yesterday, I noticed a "sissing" sound, which came from the plastics: there was a leak. I felt with my finger to find out where the leakage was, and then there was blood on my fingers. :S It came out the plastics/wound, because I didn't have had faeces yet...... to that worried a bit.
Yesterday I had to go to the hospital again. The smell was still gone, but the wound really hurted this week. I thought it was the place of where the pump had sucked at my skin. I told them about the blood I found that morning on the toilet, and after they removed the sponge (which was really painful again despite the lidocaine), they saw blood in the wound, there was a artery which went open really fast. This place of the wound didn't heal as fast as the rest of the wound, it had another color and was really painful. So, they put a small protecting stuff on the 'hurted" place which was bleeding, to protect it from the foam and sucking. This means it won't heal as fast as normal, but it gives less pain.

The middle of the wound heals really good, it is at skin-niveau!!! :D
And the hole at the upperside, directed to my spinal, is also getting smaller!

Now I'm at home again. I've got more pain than normal because that hurted place, causes more pain :( that sucks. But I'm glad that the rest of the wound is healing good! :)
Let's hope it won't take this more time anymore, because I want to be Vac-free soon hahahaha! ;)
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