OBJECTIVES: Post-sternotomy wound infection remains a significant morbidity in congenital and paediatric cardiac surgery. However, the techniques used for this complication in children are not optimal in terms of mortality, morbidity and the use of medical resources. Negative pressure therapy is an effective modality in the treatment in adults, but reports of its use in children are limited. This study evaluated the use of negative pressure therapy in young children for post-sternotomy wound infections. METHODS: From October 2004 to June 2012, 15 consecutive cases of post-sternotomy wound infections in patients ≤6 years of age were managed with negative pressure therapy, and these patients were followed up for ≥12 months after wound closure. The median Aristotle comprehensive complexity score was 9.9 ± 4.0. The infection was identified at a median of 16 days after surgery, and the procedure was performed within 24 h of diagnosis. No additional surgical procedures were applied. RESULTS: No cases of hospital mortality or second surgery for infection control occurred. The median duration until wound closure was 25 days (range: 5-92 days). Further, no patient showed sternal instability at treatment termination. During the mean follow-up period of 45.8 ± 31.3 months after wound closure, no admission occurred for infection recurrence. According to a multivariable analysis, the infection depth and patient weight significantly lengthened treatment duration (P = 0.008 and 0.046, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Negative pressure therapy is an effective treatment modality for wound infections in paediatric cardiac surgery and results in low morbidity, mortality and medical resource use.
- Congenital heart disease
- Wound infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine