This is a consensus document of the Spanish Society of Cardiovascular Infections (SEICAV), the Spanish Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (SECTCV) and the Biomedical Research Centre Network for Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES). These three entities have brought together a multidisciplinary group of experts that includes anaesthesiologists, cardiac and cardiothoracic surgeons, clinical microbiologists, infectious diseases and intensive care specialists, internal medicine doctors and radiologists. Despite the clinical and economic consequences of sternal wound infections, to date, there are no specific guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and management of mediastinitis based on a multidisciplinary consensus. The purpose of the present document is to provide evidence-based guidance on the most effective diagnosis and management of patients who have experienced or are at risk of developing a post-surgical mediastinitis infection in order to optimise patient outcomes and the process of care. The intended users of the document are health care providers who help patients make decisions regarding their treatment, aiming to optimise the benefits and minimise any harm as well as the workload.
Keywords: cardiac surgery; infection; mediastinitis; post-surgical mediastinitis; sternal wound infections; surgical wound infection.