A new study finds that infections following cardiac device implantations or replacement result in extremely high costs, both financially and in terms of patient mortality, even months after affected patients return home. Infections associated with pacemakers and defibrillators led to 4.8 to 7.7-fold increases in admission mortality, 1.6 to 2.1-fold increases for long term mortality, 2.5 to 4.0-fold increases in hospital length of stay, and 1.4 to 1.8-fold increases in cost compared to pacemaker and defibrillator implantations without infection.
Surprisingly, more than one-third of the excess mortality occurred after hospital discharge. These findings, from a study of more than 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries receiving pacemaker and defibrillator implantations, with and without infection, were published today, via ePub, by the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study risk-adjusted the outcomes for comorbidities and demographic characteristics.
"Pacemaker and ICD therapies are invaluable tools in treating heart disease. The 2010 American Heart Association/Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Statement on Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device (CIED) Infections and their Management identified the need for more precise data on the clinical impact and economic burden of pacemaker and defibrillator infections," commented Daniel Lerner, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of TYRX, Inc. "This large population study in a broad spectrum of patients provides important information on the significant impact that cardiac device infections have on mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs. These findings further underscore the need for infection prevention as a key component of the larger healthcare imperative to reduce mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs."