The study aimed to determine if a sternum support vest could effectively lower the risk of pulmonary complications, specifically atelectasis, in patients who have undergone median sternotomy. The study compared two groups of patients: Group A, who underwent surgery before the vest was introduced, and Group B, who underwent surgery after the vest was introduced. The severity of atelectasis was quantified using scoring systems based on chest X-ray images. The study found that Group B had a significantly lower prevalence of complete or near complete lobar atelectasis compared to Group A, particularly among men. No other significant differences in complications were observed between the two groups.
Atelectasis and other pulmonary complications are common after cardiac surgery. The sternum support vest (Posthorax®) has been shown to reduce the risk of deep mediastinitis after median sternotomy. Observations at the Karolinska University Hospital have indicated that the vest may also reduce the risk of atelectasis. This study aimed to objectively assess if sternum support vest could significantly lower the risk of various pulmonary complications, including atelectasis, in patients who have undergone median sternotomy.
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