The value and limitations of a wound inspection clinic after cardiac device implantation

J. Han H. Deuling, Marcelle D. Smit, Alexander H. Maass, Ad F. M. Van den Heuvel, Wybe Nieuwland, Felix Zijlstra, Isabelle C. Van Gelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Due to the growing number of cardiac device implantations it is important to develop methods to reduce device-implantation related complications.

Aims: To determine whether a wound inspection clinic can play a role in the detection of device-implantation related complications.

Methods: Single-center observational study evaluating patients who received a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Results: Of 159 patients who received an appointment for the wound inspection clinic, 52 (33%) received a pacemaker and 107 (67%) received an ICD. The majority had no signs of infection. Pain (n=13, 8%) and swelling (n=11, 7%) were the most frequent signs observed, but they never necessitated intervention and recovered spontaneously in all patients. During follow-up (mean 20 9 weeks), complications occurred in 10 patients (6%). Most complications occurred early, within 4 days after implantation. The two late complications (at 19 and 41 days) could not be recognized at the wound inspection clinic.

Conclusion: We found no useful role for a wound inspection clinic two weeks post-implant to detect device-related complications. Open rapid access to the pacemaker/ICD center for patients with signs and symptoms of (threatening) complications seems to be more appropriate to manage post-implant patients. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-292
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2009


  • Cardiac device
  • Complications
  • Prevention
  • Wound inspection
  • RISK

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