Sternal wound infections

Postoperative sternal wound infections following cardiac surgery is a significant problem particularly among diabetics and the obese.

Such infections are associated with significant morbidity, expense, a length of hospital stay and increased mortality.

The incidence of sternal or mediastinal wound infections after cardiac surgery ranges from 0.5-3% and is associated with prolonged hospitalizations or readmission for surgical debridement and lengthy antibiotic therapy is often required.

The mortality rate of patients with sternal surgical site infections ranges from 14-42%.

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery include sternal and vascular harvest site incisions that can result in SSIs at different sites.

A trial of gentamicin gentamicin-collagen sponge in a large multicenter did not demonstrate effective prophylaxis (Bennett-Gu2242eo E).

In a randomized trial among patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery with sternotomy the use of a V710 vaccine against Staph aureus compared with placebo did not reduce the rate of postoperative staph aureus infections and was associated with increased mortality among those patients who developed a staph aureus infection (Fowler VGA et al).

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