Preventing sternal wound infections after open-heart surgery

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SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS are one of the most frequent postoperative complications for all surgical patients.1,2 A serious complication of open-heart surgery (OHS), sternal wound infections (SWIs) are linked to high mortality and morbidity.3 Preventing SWIs not only helps protect patients from severe and potentially long-term complications, it also significantly reduces the cost of hospitalization.
This article addresses some of the most commonly found risk factors for SWIs in post-op OHS patients. We'll also outline the results and nursing recommendations from a case study designed to reduce SWI rates in a community hospital.

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