Technique for minimizing and treating driveline infections
Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are increasingly utilized in the management of advanced heart failure. A transcutaneous driveline is necessary to power the LVAD, and although this technology has improved over the years in terms of smaller size and increased durability, driveline complications continue to develop in up to 20% of all devices implanted. Driveline infections are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. As more patients live longer with ventricular assist devices, minimizing driveline infections is paramount. A systematic, multidisciplinary approach can be used to develop a strategy to prevent, recognize and treat driveline infections. In this paper, we describe our approach to driveline management which has resulted in zero driveline infections between January 2012 and March 2014.