Artificial Organs | 2019

Vacuum‐Assisted Closure for Mediastinitis in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Single‐Center Experience



Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) has been widely used to treat mediastinitis after congenital cardiac surgery, which is associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. The aim in this study is to review our 14 cases of mediastinitis treated with VAC therapy after congenital cardiac surgery. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 14 congenital heart patients with mediastinitis from January 2012 to March 2017. Patients with fever, wound discharge, sternal dehiscence, a positive wound culture or abscess diagnosed with computed tomography are accepted as mediastinitis. A VAC was applied to all our patients without irrigation or dressing the wound because of sterility concerns. The vacuuming of the wound was either 50 mm Hg or 75 mm Hg according to the sternal intactness. We gradually decreased the pressures and changed the VAC systems once every three days, after wound healing was seen and a negative culture was obtained and VAC was terminated. There were 14 patients (8 male and 6 female) with mediastinitis and all of them were treated using VAC. The mean age of the patients was 6.96 months (ranging from 0.5-26 months). The mean weight was 5.16 kg (2.8-12 kg). Three patients needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after the surgery. Mean onset of mediastinitis was 25.3 days. The wound cultures showed methicillin resistant coagulase negative streptococcus and methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus in most cases. Acinetobacter, serratia, pseudomonas, and klebsiella were the other bacterial species seen in cultures. Two patients had mediastinitis symptoms, but their cultures were negative. VAC systems were changed 3.85 times on average. Mean duration of hospital stay was 49.9 days (21-104 days). One patient needed a muscle flap to close the thoracic cavity after mediastinitis. Two patients did not survive. Mediastinitis is a serious postoperative condition in pediatric cardiac surgery patients. Classical wound dressing and irrigation methods are not suitable in mediastinitis for the pediatric age group. Therefore, VAC therapy can be an effective way to successfully treat the situation.

Volume 43
Pages 119–124
DOI 10.1111/aor.13321
Language English
Journal Artificial Organs

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