Since the advent of ventricular assist devices with smaller configurations and continuous-flow technology, survival rates for patients with end-stage heart failure have dramatically improved. While the burden of infectious complications is decreased in patients on continuous-flow ventricular assist devices compared to bulkier pulsatile-flow devices, infection remains one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality. The majority of infections occur at the driveline exit site, beginning with a disruption or trauma to the barrier between the skin and driveline and sometimes spreading deeper. Once infections develop, they can be difficult to eradicate. Depending on the degree of infection, treatment options may include local wound care, antibiotics, or surgical treatment. Preventive strategies and careful surveillance are crucial to improve patient outcomes.
- left ventricular assist device
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