Posted on Nov 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 – According to a report from USA Today, the most common infection acquired after heart surgery is pneumonia. A new study also finds that most cases of an infection develop about 2 weeks after undergoing the surgery.

More than 5,100 patients who had undergone heart surgery were analyzed. Of these patients, 278 cases of infection were considered to be serious. One type of serious infection that develops in the intestines is C. difficile colitis.

Other infections include those affecting the surgical site and bloodstream. However, more cases of pneumonia developed in the patients.

Almost half of the patients were discharged from the hospital with no knowledge of acquiring an infection. In some cases they had to be readmitted once the infection was discovered.

Some of the risk factors that could increase the chance of developing an infection include:

  • ·         longer time spent in hospital;
  • ·         hypertension;
  • ·         chronic lung disease;
  • ·         congestive heart failure; and
  • ·         use of corticosteroids prior to surgery. 

Heart surgery included procedures involving the mitral valve and coronary artery bypass grafting. Researchers indicate the next step is to look further into the differences of care that patients received.

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