Driveline exit-site care protocols in patients with left ventricular assist devices: A systematic review

Zeliha Ozdemir Koken, Yunus C. Yalcin, Diana Van Netten, Chantal C. De Bakker, Maaike Van Der Graaf, Umit Kervan, Nelianne J. Verkaik, Kadir Caliskan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Driveline infections continue to be a significant complication following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. Driveline exit-site care is crucial for the prevention of infections; however, there are no uniform guidelines. The goal of this study was to provide an overview of the currently published driveline exit-site care protocols in patients with LVAD. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed. Studies before 15 December 2020 were included if the number of driveline infections was a primary outcome and the driveline exit-site care protocol was explained. Results: Eleven articles were included in the systematic review, including 1602 patients with LVADs. The median of the frequency of driveline infections in the articles was 13.8% with a range of 0-52.6%. There was a marked variability in the methods of care of driveline exit sites, without a standardized driveline dressing technique in patients with LVADs. The frequency of driveline infections was 6-7.5% in studies using a dressing kit that included chlorhexidine, a silver-based dressing and an anchoring device. Furthermore, there was variability in the anchoring devices and the frequency of dressing changes, which varied from daily to weekly. No specific anchoring device or change frequency was found to be superior. Conclusions: Based on this systematic review, driveline exit care protocols that included chlorhexidine, a silver-based dressing, the use of an anchoring device and dressing kits might be best in reducing driveline infection rates. However, prospective studies with larger cohorts are needed to establish the optimal protocol for driveline exit-site care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date8 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.


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