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Cardiac Device Infection

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are not without risk. One of the biggest is device infection, which is rare but can have serious consequences.


Infection of a cardiac device after insertion has many possible causes, including:

  • Early device reoperation
  • Three or more leads on a device
  • Three or more device-related surgeries
  • Immunosuppression
  • Blood-clotting disorders

Device infections tend to form in the device pocket.


Signs that your device may be infected include:

  • Pain in the area under the skin around the device that develops after a pain-free period
  • Draining of sinuses
  • Chills
  • Fever

Prevention and treatment

To help prevent device infection, antibiotics are given the day of surgery.

Treatment for an infection that occurs after your procedure includes complete device removal and antibiotic therapy.

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