CCCF ePoster library. Drouillard B. Oct 26, 2015; 114779; P42 Disclosure(s): Nothing to disclose
Brenda Drouillard
Brenda Drouillard
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Topic: Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Project

PROPOSED SOLUTION TO DELAYED STERNAL CLOSURE: CARDIAC CORSET         Brenda Drouillard RN, Cecilia St. George-Hyslop RN M Ed, Claire Watt RN M ScN, Lynsey Mcmullin RN Labatt Family Heart Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Brenda Drouillard, C. Hyslop, C. Watt

Cardiac Critical Care Unit, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children,, Toronto, Canada | Cardiac Critical Care, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada | Cardiac Critical Care, Hospital for SickKids, Toronto, Canada


Delayed sternal closure (DSC) is a challenge in post-operative complex cardiac surgical patients. Management inevitably leads to third space fluid, and DSC. This may negatively impact outcomes: infection, skin breakdown, increased intensive care stay.

For many patients, DSC can be achieved within days of surgery after diuresis and appropriate cardiovascular support. For a subset of patients, closure may be delayed because of persistent anasarca, impaired ventilation and/or cardiac output. With prolonged opening of the sternum, the costo-vertebral angle is altered along with the conical shape of the chest, further limiting space in the anterior mediastinum with approximation of sternal edges. A method of sternal stretch and suspension with suture is at times utilized to facilitate gradual sternal approximation.

Objectives: This presentation will:
- highlight an innovative device that may be helpful in decreasing thoracic edema, allowing for earlier chest closure
- present care management guidelines when using this device


This poster introduces a new and novel external slow closure device, “cardiac corset” (CC), designed to facilitate successful sternal closure as an alternate strategy. The cardiac corset helps to gradually approximate the sternum by manipulating/compressing edema along the chest wall/flank.

Designed for 2-4kg neonates, the corset with hook and loop fasteners, has evolved, tailoring for functionality. The cm markings on the Velcro guide approximation, and plastic rings on the front allow for an alternative to sternal stretch and suture suspension.


The cardiac corset was designed and is used to facilitate earlier chest closure. No skin breakdown has been noted. CC is easy to apply/remove, and provides a more objective measurement of sternal approximation and closure.


The cardiac corset is an innovative device that may facilitate earlier chest closure.

References: Novel innovative device - thoracic corset
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