Journal Articles

Blistering and skin stripping affecting coronary artery bypass graft patients

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Blistering and skin stripping affecting coronary artery bypass graft patients

Carlos Morais, Melissa Rochon
27 March 2014

Despite substantial reductions in the incidence of donor surgical site infection at the Royal Brompton Hospital, some coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients experience skin blistering and skin stripping (SBSS) at leg incisions following vein harvest. Method: Continuous, prospective surgical site surveillance of CABG patients was combined with tissue viability review over a 9-month period. Expert clinical opinion was sought on key areas of interest identified during the process. Results: A classification system was developed and a SBSS rate of 7% was established. Conclusion: Following vein harvest, the lower limbs of CABG patients are vulnerable to adverse skin reactions of blistering and/or skin loss thought to be associated with two principal mechanisms of pressure oedema and /or skin trauma caused by a highly adherent dressing.

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