Frequently asked questions

Call your nurse or doctor immediately if:

  • You notice a change in the color or amount of the fluid in the dressing, for example:
    • If it changes from clear to cloudy or bright red.
    • You see the dressing fill rapidly with blood.
  • Your wound looks more red than usual or has a foul smell.
  • The skin around your wound looks reddened or irritated.
  • The dressing feels or appears loose.
  • You experience pain.
  • The alarm display will not stop flashing.

What does PICO do?

PICO provides suction known as negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) which draws out excess fluid from a wound and protects the incision or wound.

How does PICO work?

PICO consists of an NPWT pump connected to an absorbent gentle adhesive dressing.

The dressing is applied to the wound bed and extra adhesive strips are placed over the outside edge to help hold the dressing in place. When the pump is turned on, air is pulled out of the dressing and excess fluid from the wound will start to enter the dressing. The dressing helps to prevent bacteria from entering the wound. It may also improve blood flow to the wound which will help it to heal.

How long will it take to improve your wound?

The length of time that the therapy takes to improve a wound is different for every patient. It will depend on your general health, the size and type of wound that you have and the treatment you have been prescribed. In many cases, an improvement in the wound can be seen when the first dressing is changed, but in some cases, it may take several weeks.

Will it be painful?

The first time the PICO Pump is turned on, you may feel a slight pulling or drawing sensation. If you experience any pain, please speak to your nurse or doctor for advice. They may prescribe pain-relief medication.

How often will the dressings have to be changed?

Dressing Change Requirements

The dressings may be left in place for up to seven days depending on the type of wound and amount of fluid from the wound. Your nurse or doctor will determine how often your dressings should be changed.

Will the dressing changes hurt?

Some people may experience slight discomfort during dressing changes, specifically during cleaning of the wound, depending on the type and position of the wound. If you feel any discomfort, please tell the person who is changing your dressing.

Can you move around while on the therapy?

Patients using PICO can move around but this will depend on recommendations provided by your nurse or doctor.

When you are asleep

Make sure that the PICO Pump is placed somewhere safe and cannot be pulled off a table or cabinet onto the floor during sleep.

Disconnection of the pump from the dressing

The pump may be disconnected from the dressing if there is a requirement to disconnect the pump – such as the need to have a shower.

Press the orange button to pause the therapy. Unscrew the two parts of the connector. Place the pump somewhere safe.

Once you are ready to reconnect the pump, screw the two halves back together. Ensure your dressing is smoothed down to make sure there are no creases that could cause air leaks. Press the orange button to restart the therapy. The green light will start flashing to show that the pump is starting to apply therapy. If after one minute the orange “air leak” light starts to flash refer to the section regarding alarms. Please note that if the pump is left paused for longer than one hour it will automatically restart the therapy.

Showering and washing

The PICO Pump is splash proof but should not be submerged in water.

Make sure the tube attached to the dressing is held out of the water and that the end of the tube is pointing downwards so that water cannot enter the tube.

The dressing on top of the wound is water resistant. You can shower or wash with the dressing in place, as long as you take care not to expose it to direct jets of water and not to soak it. Soaking the dressing may cause it to fall off.

How do I know if the PICO System is working?

low battery indicator

While the PICO Pump is working correctly a green light located at the top of the device will flash continuously.

The dressing should have a slightly wrinkled appearance and feel firm to the touch.

What happens if the PICO visual alarm display starts flashing?

The PICO Pump has a visual alarm for “Low Battery” and “Leak Alarm.” These issues are easily solved, for example:

low battery indicator

“Low Battery” – The pump will begin to alert you with a flashing orange light (above the battery symbol) when there are 24 hours and less of battery life. The batteries should be changed at this point. Press the orange button to pause the therapy. Replace batteries, put the cover back on and press the orange button again to restart your therapy.

The green light and the orange light above the battery will flash together when the batteries need changing.

low battery indicator

“Leak Alarm” – Air leak detected possibly due to a creased dressing/border/strip.

Pump has gone into Auto Pause. NPWT is not being applied to the wound.

The pump will Auto Pause for one hour and then will automatically try to re-establish therapy if no remedial action is taken.

Smooth down the dressing and the strips to remove any creases that are allowing air into the system. Press the orange button to restart the therapy. The green “OK” light will flash as the pump tries to establish therapy. If the air leak remains, the amber leak light will start to flash after approximately 30 seconds. If this happens, repeat smoothing actions and press the orange button. If the leak is resolved the green light will continue to flash.

Contact your nurse or doctor if you have continuous issues with the flashing low vacuum light.

When will I need a new pump?

low battery indicator

The pump is designed to stop working seven days after initial start. After this time, it will stop and will not restart even with new batteries. Negative pressure therapy is not being applied at this point so your nurse or doctor will need to apply a new PICO therapy system if needed.

The pump will look like this when it has come to the end of its life.