Risk of left ventricular assist device driveline infection: A systematic literature review

Noelle V. Pavlovic, Tania Randell, Tim Madeira, Steven Hsu, Radoslav Zinoviev, Martha Abshire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) improve quality of life in end-stage heart failure but can cause serious complications such as infections with driveline infection causing significant morbidity and mortality. Objectives: The purpose of this systematic literature review is to synthesize the literature to determine variables associated with driveline infection and seek opportunities to improve nursing management of LVAD drivelines. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed. The evidence was synthesized using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice tools and the Chain of Infection epidemiological framework. Results: Thirty-four studies focused on vulnerable host, portal of entry, and causative organism aspects of the Chain of Infection. Increased BMI, younger age, exposed driveline velour showed increased risk of infection and driveline dressing protocol change showed lower risk of infection. Conclusions: Although some risk factors for infection were identified, evidence is still limited. Nurses are uniquely positioned to improve driveline management, disrupting the chain of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-104
Number of pages15
JournalHeart and Lung
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Driveline infection
  • Infection control
  • LVAD
  • Left ventricular assist device
  • VAD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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