BACKGROUND:: The authors examined the relationship between débridement delay and mortality for mediastinitis patients. The authors also assessed mortality trends for mediastinitis patients between 1998 and 2010. METHODS:: The authors conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study with data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 1998 to 2010. They studied adult patients, 18 years of age or older, who were surgically treated for mediastinitis. They used a logistic regression model adjusted for patient demographic and clinical characteristics to evaluate the association between timing of first operative débridement and in-hospital mortality. Using their logistic model, they calculated the adjusted probability of in-hospital mortality for each year of the study. RESULTS:: Results showed that initial débridement after the fourth day of admission increased the odds of in-hospital mortality by 50 percent (odds ratio, 1.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.1). In addition, the adjusted probability of in-hospital mortality for an average patient treated for mediastinitis decreased from 10.6 percent in 1998 to 3.1 percent in 2010. CONCLUSION:: There is a survival advantage from timely initial débridement in mediastinitis patients.
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