Managing postoperative mediastinitis

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 1989 May;3(3):52-65. doi: 10.1097/00005082-198905000-00012.


Mediastinitis is a serious complication following cardiac surgery that requires early diagnosis and expert care. This article describes normal and impaired wound healing. Risk factors in the development of sternal wound infections are also discussed. Diagnosis, surgical management, and nursing management of mediastinitis are described, with emphasis on the nursing diagnoses Potential for Infection, Ineffective Coping, and Potential Alteration in Home Health Management.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Body Image
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / psychology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mediastinitis / diagnosis
  • Mediastinitis / etiology*
  • Mediastinitis / nursing
  • Risk Factors
  • Wound Healing