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The Impact of Deep Sternal Wound Infection on Mortality and Resource Utilization: A Population-based Study.

Sears ED, Wu L, Waljee JF, Momoh AO, Zhong L, Chung KC. The Impact of Deep Sternal Wound Infection on Mortality and Resource Utilization: A Population-based Study. World Journal of Surgery. 2016 Nov 1; 40(11):2673-2680.

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BACKGROUND: Recent national infection control efforts have been directed at reducing postsurgical infection rates, related morbidity, and cost. We sought to evaluate population-level rates of deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) after cardiac surgery, associated mortality, and resource use compared to patients undergoing cardiac surgery without postoperative DSWI relative to historical trends. METHODS: We analyzed the MarketScan ( ) Commercial Claims Databases from 2009 to 2013 to identify adult patients who developed DSWI after open cardiac surgery. Patients with and without DSWI were compared. The outcomes of interest included 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year in-hospital mortality. Utilization outcomes, including total hospital days and inpatient costs, were calculated in the time period from the index cardiac surgery through 90 days after DSWI diagnosis. RESULTS: In this cohort, 176,537 patients underwent one or more cardiac surgery procedures. DSWI occurred in 2835 (1.6 %) patients. One-year mortality for patients with DSWI was 10.7 versus 2.5 % (P < 0.001) in patients without DSWI. Mean hospital days in patients with DSWI were 33 versus 9 days for patients without DSWI (P < 0.001). Mean cost for patients with DSWI was greater than 2.5 times that of patients without DSWI ($211,478 vs $82,089, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of DSWI results in substantial morbidity, mortality, and excess cost for treating facilities. The rates of DSWI have not decreased dramatically over the last 10-20 years. Thus, more attention needs to be focused toward understanding treatment variation that exists in patients diagnosed with DSWI.

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