Background: We evaluated the impact of a standardized driveline care strategy, including a subfascial-tunneling method and dressing protocol, on the incidence of driveline infection (DLI). Methods: DLI data from all HeartMate II (HMII) and HeartMate 3 (HM3) patients (including exchange devices) were retrospectively collected between 2013 and 2021. The driveline subfascial-tunneling method was altered in three steps (A: right direct; B: left triple, C: right triple), and the shower protocol was changed in two steps (A: with/without cover, B: with cover). Disinfection was individually tailored after changing the shower protocol. Complications associated with morbidity and mortality were evaluated for each modification. Results: During the study period, 80 devices were implanted (HMII, n = 54; HM3, n = 26). The 8-year incidence of DLI was 15% (n = 8) in HMII patients and 0% in HM3 patients (p = 0.039). DLI was not associated with hospital mortality. The modified dressing protocol and tunneling method was associated with a significantly better DLI incidence rate in comparison to the previous one: Protocol-A (n = 17), Protocol-B (n = 63), 35% vs 3% (p = 0.0009), Method-A (n = 13), Method-B (n = 42), Method-C (n = 25), 46% vs 5% vs 0% (p = 0.0001). The rete of freedom form DLI at 1, 2, and 3 years had also significant difference between groups: Protocol-A and Protocol-B, 80%, 54%, 54% vs 96%, 96%, 96%, respectively (p < 0.0001), Method-A, Method-B and Method-C, 76%, 44%, 44%, vs 94%, 94%, 94% vs 100%, 100%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: A standardized triple driveline tunneling strategy and waterproof dressing protocol reduced driveline infection in HM3 patients to 0%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering