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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Gerard Stansby
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BACKGROUND: There is considerable debate over the management of infected infrainguinal grafts. This report describes recent experience in this field and documents the change in clinical practice needed to deal with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). METHODS: All infected infrainguinal grafts between January 1991 and July 1997 were reviewed. In the light of the findings, clinical practice was modified considerably. A further 1 year was audited prospectively up to August 1998. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients were treated for 27 infrainguinal graft infections (25 prosthetic, two vein). Twenty were treated by complete graft excision as the initial therapy; graft preservation was attempted in six patients. Before 1995, the infecting organisms were predominantly Pseudomonas aeruginosa or methicillin-sensitive staphylococci. Subsequently all 14 patients treated up to 1997 had infection with MRSA. The overall amputation rate was 17 of 26; ten amputations were in patients with MRSA. Four patients died, all with MRSA sepsis. As a result of this experience a policy of complete isolation was adopted for all patients infected with MRSA. In the 12 months since this policy was introduced, 77 infrainguinal grafts (61 vein, 16 prosthetic) have been inserted. Two grafts (3 per cent) have become infected, necessitating graft excision and amputation. CONCLUSION: MRSA infection of an infrainguinal graft is a serious complication with high associated amputation and mortality rates. Isolation and barrier nursing appeared to contain the problem.
Author(s): Stansby G; Chalmers RT; Wolfe JH; Cheshire NJ; Nicolaides AN; Mansfield AO; Barrett SP
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: British Journal of Surgery
ISSN (print): 0007-1323
ISSN (electronic): 1365-2168
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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