NPWT: Incision Management in high risk Cardiothoracic patients – reducing surgical site infection and length of stay Back

incision management

Publication Date: October 1, 2015



A surgical site infection (SSI) accounts for approximately 16% of all hospital acquired infections and are estimated to double the length of post-op hospital stay and significantly increase the cost of care.

Advances in surgery and anesthesia have resulted in patients who are at higher risk of developing an SSI being considered for surgery. In open Cardiothoracic Surgery, the mortality associated with deep sternal infections is substantial.

In 2011, the Imperial College Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit found their SSI rate to be significantly high at 15% compared to the national average of 4.5%. Evidence is increasing to demonstrate the effect of using Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) as a preventative tool for managing a closed incision which has been found to reduce the incidence of wound infection post sternotomy in high risk obese patients.

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit evaluated the effect of using PICO™ NPWT device as the post-operative dressing on high risk patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery. The aims of the evaluation were to assess the effectiveness of PICO with regard to reducing post-surgical complications and length of hospital stay in high-risk patients.

PICO is a single use, disposable battery operated device which delivers continuous NPWT at -80mmHg and can be used to manage surgically closed incisions.