Objective Access to pacemakers remains poor among many patients in low/middle-income countries. Reuse of explanted pacemakers is a possible solution, but is still not widespread because of concerns regarding outcomes, especially infection. Our objective was to study early outcomes with implants using reused devices and compare them with those with implants using new devices.
Methods We studied all patients who underwent implantation of a new or reused pacemaker, cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) device or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in the last 5 years at a single institution. We analysed outcomes related to infection, device malfunction and device-related death within 6 months after initial implantation.
Results During the study period, 887 patients underwent device implant, including 127 CRT devices or ICDs. Of these, 260 devices (29.3%) were reused and the others were new. At 6 months, there were three device-related infections in implants using a new device. There were no infections among patients receiving a reused device. There were no device malfunctions or device-related deaths in either group.
Conclusions We found no difference in rate of infection or device malfunction among patients getting a reused device as compared with those with a new device. This study reinforces the safety of reusing devices for implant including CRT and ICDs.
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Contributors RJS designed the study, performed the data analysis, drafted the manuscript and coordinated the revisions. RS was responsible for data collection and assisted with drafting the manuscript. SS, AAP and JB were involved in the management of the patients and provided substantial critical revisions of the manuscript. PS, XJ and BD, as members of STIM developpement, were instrumental in setting up the system for collection and transport of the devices. They wrote the sections about the organisation and assisted with revisions. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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