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Driveline infection research
Professor David McGiffin and Dr Christina Kure from the Cardiothoracic surgery department together with Professor Anton Peleg from the Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred and Dr Yue Qu from Monash University have a research program that is aimed at investigating the mechanism of driveline infection.
About this research
One of the weak links in mechanical circulatory support (MCS) with ventricular assist devices (VADs) is the necessity for a driveline connecting the internal pump with the external controller and power source. Since these drivelines penetrate the skin, there is a high risk of developing an infection at the skin exit site which contributes to the morbidity and mortality in patients with a VAD.
Drivelines have a section called velour (like Velcro) covering which allows the driveline to be firmly attached to the underlying tissue during the healing process. The research group has found that there are gaps in the velour which function as a pathway for infection to progress from the patient’s skin along the driveline and potentially to the pump. This discovery allows a target for the development of strategies to plug the gaps to prevent driveline infection.