An approach to improve early detection of sternal wound infection

We developed a reproducible and reliable method of using a rubber stamp prospectively to document appearances of the sternal wound. 395 consecutive patients undergoing median sternotomy for cardiac procedures were studied over a period of four months. Data were collected by the Senior House Officer during the ward round for all patients at Day 3 and Day 7 post-operatively. Data were entered for 303 patients using the rubber stamp. 78 patients had no stamp entered in their case notes. 21 patients were recorded as having abnormal wounds, 11 of whom confirmed positive microbiological growth.


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