Infections in Indwelling Medical Devices

Elicia Greene, RN, MS, CIC Assistant Chief, Infection Control

Central Texas Healthcare System
Temple, TX

Chetan Jinadatha, MD, MPH

Department of Medicine, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System
Temple, TX
College of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Bryan, TX

Original Publication:
October 2, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Chetan Jinadatha reports that he is the principal investigator on various projects that have been funded by Xenex Disinfection Services under a cooperative research and development agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Xenex Disinfection Services. He is also the inventor of record for a patent pending technology named "Methods for organizing the disinfection of one or more items contaminated with biological agents," which is owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs and has been licensed to Xenex Disinfection Services. He reports that he does not own shares, investments or partnerships in Xenex Disinfection Services or any other company relevant to the chapter. He also reports receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Modern medicine has made amazing strides during the past several decades, owing to improved medical knowledge and advanced applied technology. The enormous increase in the use of rather traditional and new innovative medical devices has saved numerous lives and improved the quality of life for many people. With the use of these devices has come the increased risk of serious infectious complications, particularly for critically ill patients who are growing in number, who are already at increased risk for infection, and who are most likely to use medical devices. Continued medical progress promises to bring an ever-increasing use of implantable prosthetic devices for a growing number of indications. Optimal prevention, diagnosis, and management of infections related to the use of these devices are of paramount importance to diminish major morbidity and mortality. This chapter addresses current issues in the prevention and management of infections in various implanted medical devices seen in current clinical practice, with a focus on select permanent devices seen in the inpatient arena. Indwelling medical devices that are of a more temporary nature such as vascular catheters, urinary catheters, or endotracheal tubes are not the focus of this chapter and are addressed in other chapters.