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Suspected Neurosurgical Shunt Infection

Pathway Background and Objectives

Ventricular-peritoneal shunt placement is a common neurosurgical procedure. Ventricular-peritoneal shunt infection is a known risk in children with this hardware. Early recognition and treatment is essential to prevent further morbidity, and it also leads to decreased medical costs. The goals of the pathway are early recognition of and delivery of appropriate care for suspected shunt infection. The specific objectives are to:

  • Decrease unnecessary antibiotic usage
  • Ensure appropriate lab tests are ordered for suspected shunt infection
  • Ensure appropriate antibiotic initiation in the emergency department
  • Ensure timely surgical interventions
  • Ensure appropriate adjustment of antibiotics post operatively in consultation with Infectious Disease physicians

Algorithm

Download Suspected Neurosurgical Shunt Infection Pathway Algorithm

Quality Metrics

  • Percentage of patients with pathway order set usage
  • Percentage of patients with correct empiric antibiotic choice per pathway
  • Percentage of patients with antibiotics adjusted based on culture results and Infectious Disease recommendations
  • Length of stay in ED (hours)

Educational Module

Download Suspected Neurosurgical Shunt Infection Educational Module

Key References

Pathway Contacts

Jonathan Martin, MD
Petronella Stoltz, APRN

Disclaimer

The clinical pathways in the above links have been developed specifically for use at Connecticut Children’s and are made available publicly for informational and/or educational purposes only. The clinical pathways are not intended to be, nor are they, a substitute for individualized professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Although Connecticut Children’s makes all efforts to ensure the accuracy of the posted content, Connecticut Children’s makes no warranty of any kind as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or its fitness for use at any particular facility or in any individual case.

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