Post-operative infection in mechanical circulatory support patients.

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Post-operative infection in mechanical circulatory support patients.

Ann Transl Med. 2020 Jul;8(13):831

Authors: Tan Z, Zeng LA

The management of end stage heart failure has changed dramatically in recent years with the advent of mechanical circulatory support devices as well as rapid improvement and increased availability of these devices. With the improvements in survival and quality of life in these patients, post-operative infections become a significant contribution to morbidity and mortality. Post-operative infections need to be adequately addressed in a timely fashion by early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Recognizing risk factors for infection and instituting good infection control measures is also key in caring for these patients. Multiple patient and device factors have been shown to be correlated with increased post-operative infections, and cellular immunity is also impaired in patients on ventricular assist devices (VAD). Cultures should be taken prior to starting antimicrobial treatment. Empirical treatment needs to account for common pathogens, local microbial resistance and subsequently be culture guided once results are available. Patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation present a unique challenge with drug dosing due to altered pharmacokinetics. VAD related and VAD specific infections require appropriate wound care and possible surgical intervention. This narrative review summarizes the literature available for the management and prevention of post-operative infections in patients with mechanical circulatory devices. Vigilance in identifying risk factors, prompt treatment and active prevention is crucial to the management.

PMID: 32793676 [PubMed]

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