This study examines the efficacy of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary wound management team and negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for the treatment of sternal wound infections in congenital heart surgery patients. A single-institution retrospective review of all congenital heart surgery patients with post-operative sternal wound infections who were treated with NPWT was performed. Patients were evaluated based on (a) whether NPWT occurred before or after the establishment of a multidisciplinary wound management team, and (b) whether NPWT was initiated early (within 2 days) or late (greater than 2 days) after diagnosis of a sternal wound infection. The median duration of NPWT was 12 days (range 2-50 days). NPWT was successfully initiated in patients as young as 15 days of age. There was a trend toward shorter duration of both NPWT and antibiotic use following (a) the implementation of the multidisciplinary wound management team, and (b) in patients with early use of NPWT; however, these results did not achieve statistical significance. NPWT can be successfully utilised in congenital heart surgery patients, including young neonates, for the treatment of sternal wound infections. The trends observed in the reduction of wound therapy duration and antibiotic duration with early implementation of negative pressure therapy and multidisciplinary wound management require further investigation to verify their clinical efficacy in patient care.
J.P., C., J.K., A., D.A., E., S.M., P., D.K., A., D., Z., … D.S., N. (2014). Negative pressure wound therapy for sternal wound infections following congenital heart surgery. Journal of Wound Care, 23(1), 31–36. Retrieved from http://www.embase.com/search/results?subaction=viewrecord&from=export&id=L372696946