Costs savings tool (Canadian version)

Fill in your annual no. of open heart procedures
Deep sternal wound infections could cost you:
Calculated based on the average DSWI rates published in literature and average cost of treatment.
With QualiBreath on each patient you could save:
Includes the cost of QualiBreath.
Number of patients you could prevent from getting a life-threatening DSWI:
Mortality rates for a DSWI range from 9% to 47%.

Did you know?

  • The average incidence rate of Deep Sternal Wound Infections (DSWI) ranges from 0.5% to 6% in the immediate postoperative period and ranges from 0,3% to 7.3% in a 90 day follow up period. 1,2
  • The average cost of treating a Deep Sternal Wound Infection is $ 30.000 CAD. 3,4,5
  • Using an external chest support after a Sternotomy can reduce in half the incidence of DSWI. 6
  • The mortality rate of a DSWI ranges from 9% up to 47%. 1,7

Explaining the tool:

The above tool shows the reduction in health care costs for deep sternal wound infections (DSWI) when an external chest support is used. It calculates the statistical costs by using the documented average rates of incidence (Ranges from 0.5% to 6%). 1

The annual number of open heart surgery procedures that one can input in the tool is multiplied by the average rate of incidence in the first days after surgery added to the average rate of incidence documented in a 90 days follow up period (Ranges from 0.3% to 7.3%). 2 The result is the average number of patients with complications.
The number of patients with complications is then multiplied by the average cost of treatment of a DSWI ($30.000 CAD) 3,4,5 which gives the total costs of treating the patients.
It is documented that using an external chest support after open heart surgery can reduce the rate of complications in half 6. Using the same rates as above, but divided by two, the resulting rates and costs are significantly lower.
The potential savings are a simple subtraction between the costs of treatment without using an external support and the cost when using one on all patients. Furthermore, this number includes the cost of the QualiBreath sternum and thorax support on every open heart surgery patient, which is for the purpose of this tool rounded up to $149 CAD.
The number of patients that could possibly be saved from a life threatening DSWI is the difference between the average number of cases with complications when not using an external support and the average number of patients with complications while a sternum and thorax support is used by all patients.
This calculation demonstrates the significant decrease in health care costs when an external chest support such as QualiBreath is used to decrease the incidence of deep sternal wound infections and possibly saving patients from a life threatening infection.

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The purpose of this cost calculation tool is to increase the awareness of the potential annual cost reductions achieved by using an external chest support system such as QualiBreath Sternum and Thorax Support routinely after open heart surgery procedures. It is not to be considered as scientific proof or guarantee for decreased complications or cost savings and is for informational purposes only. Actual results or costs may vary and may be subject to additional factors not accommodated by this tool. The tool is provided “as-is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, and in no event shall Qualiteam s.r.l. be held liable for any damages whatsoever in relation with the use of this tool. By using this tool you agree to these conditions.


  1. Rupprecht L, Schmid C. Deep Sternal Wound Complications: An Overview of Old and New Therapeutic Options. Open Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2013:6
  2. Jonkers D, Elenbaas T, Terporten P, Nieman F, Stobberingh E. Prevalence of 90-days postoperative wound infections after cardiac surgery. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 23 (2003) 97–102
  3. Taylor GJ, Mikell FL, Moses HW, Dove JT, Katholi RE, Malik SA, Markwell SJ, Korsmeyer C, Schneider JA, Wellons HA. Determinants of hospital charges for coronary artery bypass surgery: the economic consequences of postoperative complications. Am J Cardiol. 1990 Feb 1;65(5):309-13.
  4. Graf K, Ott E, Vonberg RP, Kuehn C, Haverich A, Chaberny IF. Economic aspects of deep sternal wound infections. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 37 (2010) 893—896
  5. Brown PP, Kugelmass AD, Cohen DJ, Reynolds MR, Culler SD, Dee AD, Simon AW. The Frequency and Cost of Complications Associated With Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery: Results from the United States Medicare Program. Ann Thorac Surg 2008;85:1980–7
  6. Gorlitzer M, Wagner F, Pfeiffer S, Folkmann S, Meinhart J, Fischlein T, Reichenspurner H, Grabenvoger M. Prevention of sternal wound complications after sternotomy: results of a large prospective randomized multicentre trial. Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery (2013) 1–8
  7. Singh K, Anderson E, Garrett Harper J. Overview and Management of Sternal Wound Infection. Semin Plast Surg 2011;25:25–33
  8. White Paper: Hjorth D, Evaluation of external chest supports based on the entire recovery process in and out of the hospital to avoid offset costs of long term complications and medications.; 2014