June 16, 2023

Vanderbilt team develops new protocol for emergency resternotomy

Editor's Note

A multidisciplinary cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) team at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, recently conducted a bedside surgery simulation of a resternotomy to develop a new protocol for the lifesaving procedure, according to the June 15 VUMC Reporter.

When a cardiac surgical patient starts bleeding postoperatively in the cardiac intensive care unit and there is no time to get to the operating room, the patient’s sternum has to be reopened at the bedside.

The team practiced resternotomy simulations in a cadaver lab and then on mannequins in the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment Lab so they could become more familiar with the scenario and better define each person’s role. 

Developing a new protocol and creating set standards helps streamline and standardize what happens when these situations arise, the report says.




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