Risk factors of cardiac device infection: Glove contamination during device procedures

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BACKGROUND: Infections in cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) constitute a serious complication. We sought to identify contamination of gloves before handling the device in primary and replacement CIED procedures.

METHODS: Two groups of 30 patients underwent primary CIED implantation or replacement. Before the device entered the surgical field, surgeon and assistant imprinted their outer gloves on aerobe and anaerobe agar plates, and a wound swab was performed. Samples were cultured, and the presence of bacteria was identified, counted as the number of colony forming units, and characterized to the level of genus and species.

RESULTS: Samples from 40 (67%) procedures revealed bacteria on surgeons' or assistants' gloves. Contamination occurred in 80% of replacements and 67% of primary implantations (risk difference, 13%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -8.8 to 35.5). Contamination of surgeons' and assistants' gloves occurred in 55% and 44% of procedures, respectively. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CNS) occurred in 52%, and Propionibacterium spp (PS) occurred in 84% of positive cases. For every 15 minutes of procedure time, colony levels increased by 7.4% (95% CI, 1.4%-13.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Contamination of gloves is common during CIED procedures before handling the device. Therefore, devices are often handled with contaminated gloves. The most prevalent bacteria were PS and CNS, which are associated with clinical CIED infections. Changing outer gloves before handling the device might improve sterile state and lower infection risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)866-871
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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