The aim of this survey was to assess the management and organization of cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) replacement in Italy.
A questionnaire consisting of 24 questions on organizational aspects and on the peri-procedural management of anticoagulant therapies and antibiotic prophylaxis was sent via the Internet to 154 Italian arrhythmia centers.
A total of 103 out of 154 centers completed the questionnaire (67% response rate). In 43% of the centers, the procedures were performed under day-case admission, in 40% under ordinary admission, and in 17% under either day-case or ordinary admission. The most frequent reason (66%) for choosing ordinary admission rather than day-case admission was to obtain full reimbursement. Although warfarin therapy was continued in 73% of the centers, nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants were discontinued, without bridging, 24 h or less prior to replacement procedures in 88%. Prophylactic antibiotic therapy was systematically administered in all centers; in 97%, the first antibiotic dose was administered 1–2 h prior to procedures. Local antibacterial envelopes were also used in 43% of the centers in patients with a higher risk of device infection.
This survey provides a representative picture of how CIED replacements are organized and managed in current Italian clinical practice. The choice of the type of hospitalization (short versus ordinary) was more often motivated by economic reasons (reimbursement of the procedure) than by clinical and organizational factors. Peri-procedural management of anticoagulation and prophylactic antibiotic therapy was consistent with current scientific evidence.