A Simple Protocol to Prevent External Ventricular Drain Infections

A_Simple_Protocol_to_Prevent_External_Ventricular

Neurosurgery 72:993–999, 201

External ventricular drains (EVDs) are associated with high rates of infection, and EVD infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the introduction of an evidence-based EVD infection control protocol could reduce the rate of EVD infections.

METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of an EVD infection control protocol introduced in a tertiary care neurointensive care unit. We compared rates of cerebrospinal fluid culture positivity and ventriculitis for the 3 years before and 3 years after the introduction of an evidence-based EVD infection control protocol. A total of 262 EVD placements were analyzed, with a total of 2499 catheter-days.

RESULTS: The rate of cerebrospinal fluid culture positivity decreased from 9.8% (14 of 143; 11.43 per 1000 catheter-days) at baseline to 0.8% (1 of 119; 0.79 per 1000 catheterdays) in the EVD infection control protocol period (P = .001). The rate of ventriculitis decreased from 6.3% (9 of 143; 7.35 per 1000 catheter-days) to 0.8% (1 of 119; 0.79 per 1000 catheter-days; P = .02).

CONCLUSION: The introduction of a simple, evidence-based infection control protocol was associated with a dramatic reduction in the risk of EVD infection.