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Cardiac-device infections expensive and deadly

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 18, 2011

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Heart device-related surgical infections triple patients' length of stay in hospitals, more than double hospitalization costs and can increase mortality tenfold, according to a study of more than 200,000 Medicare patients with pacemaker and defibrillator implantations.

The data, presented in a session at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in April, showed that patients who contract a surgical infection during implantation of a heart device are eight to 11 times more likely to die in the hospital than uninfected heart-device patients.

They are twice as likely to die within the following year, said the study, funded by TYRX Inc., a manufacturer of infection-control products.

Patients with infections cost hospitals from $17,000 to $25,000 more to treat than uninfected heart-device patients, said the study, presented by M. Rizwan Sohail, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/04/18/prbf0418.htm.

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