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Incidence of Sternal Wound Infection following Tracheostomy in Cardiac Surgery Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Submitted by


Hadi Toeg, MD, MSc, MPH, Daniel French, MD, MSc, Sebastien Gilbert, MD, Fraser Rubens, MD, MSc

The authors performed a meta-analysis to evaluate (1)  if the timing of tracheostomy after cardiac surgery and (2) whether the type of tracheostomy (open v. percutaneous) impacted the incidence of sternal wound infection (SWI).  

The findings were as follows:

  • The overall incidence of SWI was 7% (operative mortality was 23%).
  • The incidence of SWI did not differ between the early (<14 days) vs. the late (>14 days) tracheostomy groups.
  • The timing after cardiac surgery showed a SWI rate of 3% after percutaneous  v. 9% after open tracheostomy, but this difference did not reach statistical significance.

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