cardiac, infection, interprofessional, management, pediatric, sternum, surgery, wound care



  1. Jha, Neerod Kumar MD
  2. Shafique, Muhammad MD
  3. Thomas, Raisy BSc
  4. Pangilinan Cruz, Salvacion MSc
  5. Tariq, Gulnaz MSc
  6. Kiraly, Laszlo MD


OBJECTIVE: Information on sternal wound management in children after cardiac surgery is limited. The authors formulated a pediatric sternal wound care schematic incorporating concepts of interprofessional wound care and the wound bed preparation paradigm including negative-pressure wound therapy and surgical techniques to expedite and streamline wound care in children.


METHODS: Authors assessed knowledge about sternal wound care among nurses, surgeons, intensivists, and physicians in a pediatric cardiac surgical unit regarding the latest concepts such as wound bed preparation, NERDS and STONEES criteria for wound infection, and early use of negative-pressure wound therapy or surgery. Management pathways for superficial and deep sternal wounds and a wound progress chart were prepared and introduced in practice after education and training.


RESULTS: The cardiac surgical unit team members demonstrated a lack of knowledge about the current concepts of wound care, although this improved after education. The newly proposed management pathway/algorithm for superficial and deep sternal wounds and a wound progress assessment chart were introduced into practice. Results in 16 observed patients were encouraging, leading to complete healing and no mortality.


CONCLUSIONS: Managing pediatric sternal wounds after cardiac surgery can be streamlined by incorporating evidence-based current wound care concepts. In addition, the early introduction of advanced care techniques with appropriate surgical closure further improves outcomes. A management pathway for pediatric sternal wounds is beneficial.