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Despite the large choice of wide-spectrum antibiotic therapy, deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) following cardiac surgery is a life-threatening complication worldwide. This study evaluated that the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) applied inside the sternotomy wound would reduce the effect of sternal wound infections, both superficial and deep. Between January 2007 and January 2012, 1093 consecutive patients underwent cardiac surgery through median sternotomy. Patients were divided into two groups. Group B, the study group, included those who received the PRP applied inside the sternotomy wound before closure. Group A, the control group, included patients who received a median sternotomy but without the application of PRP. Antibiotic prophylaxis remained unchanged across the study and between the two groups. Occurrence of DSWI was significantly higher in group A than in group B [10 of 671 (1·5%) versus 1 of 422 (0·20%), P = 0·043]. Also, superficial sternal wound infections (SSWIs) were significantly higher in group A than in group B [19 of 671 (2·8%) versus 2 of 422 (0·5%), P = 0·006]. The use of PRP can significantly reduce the occurrence of DSWI and SSWI in cardiac surgery.