Delaying flap closure yielded a nearly threefold increase in mortality among patients undergoing treatment for deep sternal wound infection.
The researchers retrospectively evaluated 612 patients with deep sternal wound infection who were treated with flap closure during 2009 through 2013.
Among 39% of the cohort, flap closure was delayed more than 7 days after diagnosis, according to the results. Delaying the time to flap closure 4 to 7 days after diagnosis was associated with an increase in mortality risk (OR = 2.94; P < .03). Delaying closure for more than 7 days was also associated with an increased mortality risk (OR = 2.75; P < .03).
A similar trend occurred for greater need for additional procedures when delaying 4 to 7 days (IRR = 1.72; P < .001) or more than 7 days (IRR = 1.93; P < .001).
Delaying more than 3 days also yielded a 43% longer hospital stay and 37% greater cost compared with procedures conducted 0 to 3 days after diagnosis, according to the findings. – by Rob Volansky
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.