Vascular graft infection: Incidence and potential risk factors

Catherine R. Ratliff, David Strider, Tanya Flohr, Danielle Moses, Virginia Rovnyak, Julie Armatas, Jennifer Johnson, Alison Okerlund, Mary Baldwin, Marian Lawson, Suzanne Fuhrmeister, Margaret C. Tracci, Gilbert R. Upchurch, Kenneth J. Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify factors that increase the risk of vascular graft infections (VGI) in patients following abdominal or lower extremity revascularization surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective, descriptive study. METHODS: We reviewed the electronic health records of 223 patients who had undergone abdominal or lower extremity revascularization procedures from July 2012 to November 2014, looking for factors associated with VGI. We reviewed 28 preoperative, intraoperative, and post-operative factors. Descriptive statistics (mean, range, and standard deviation) were used to describe the sample; χ2 was used to determine correlations between the risk factors and subsequent VGIs. The level of significance was determined at P =.05, with a confidence level of 95%. RESULTS: We identified 33 cases of VGIs for the 223 charts reviewed, yielding an incidence rate of 15%. Seventeen of the 33 patients with VGI (51.5%) were male. The average age of patients who experienced VGI was 60.9 years (standard deviation, 12.2 years, range, 29-81 years). Preoperative factors that were shown to show statistical significance for the development of VGI were sequential procedures (P =.003), diabetes mellitus (P =.002), hemoglobin A1c more than 7.0 (P =.0002), blood glucose more than 180 mg/dL (P =.0006), and lack of mobility (0.0097). Intraoperative factors associated with VGI were hemostatic agents applied to the surgical field intraoperatively (P =.003) and perioperative hypoxemia (P =.027). Postoperative factors associated with VGI were discharge from the hospital to skilled nursing facility or acute rehabilitation facility (P =.005) and unscheduled clinic visits (P =.008). CONCLUSION: We measured a 15% incidence of VGI and identified multiple pre-, intra-, and postoperative associated factors. Vigilance is required to prevent VGI and knowledge of specific risk factors is important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-527
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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