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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Nov;148(5):2381-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

Implementation of bundled interventions greatly decreases deep sternal wound infection following cardiovascular surgery.

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Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Ichinomiya Municipal Hospital, Ichinomiya, Aichi, Japan. Electronic address:
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Ichinomiya Municipal Hospital, Ichinomiya, Aichi, Japan.



Surgical site infection (SSI), particularly deep sternal wound infection (DSWI), is a serious complication after cardiovascular surgery because of its high mortality rate. We evaluated the effectiveness of an SSI bundle to reduce DSWI and identify the risk factors for DSWI.


During the period January 2004 to February 2012, 1374 consecutive patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery via sternotomy were included. The cohort was separated into periods from January 2004 through February 2007 (period I, 682 patients) and March 2007 through February 2012 (period II, 692 patients). During period II, all preventive measures for DSWI were completed as an SSI bundle. We compared the DSWI rate between the 2 periods. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for the entire period to identify the risk factors for DSWI.


DSWI occurred in 13 patients (1.9%) during period I and in 1 patient (0.14%) during period II. The DSWI rate during period II was significantly decreased by 93%, compared with period I (P=.001). Independent risk factors for DSWI included obesity (odds ratio [OR], 3.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-11.75; P=.049), the use of 4 sternal wires (OR, 8.2; 95% CI, 1.39-48.14; P=.020), long operative time (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.20-16.23; P=.026), and postoperative renal failure (OR, 9.0; 95% CI, 2.44-33.30; P=.001).


Complete implementation of simple multidisciplinary prevention measures as a bundle can greatly decrease the incidence of DSWI.

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