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Research paper
Prospective, multicentre study of external ventricular drainage-related infections in the UK and Ireland
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    Factors influencing EVD related infections: unanswered questions

    I read with great interest the paper by Jamjoom et al.[1] The authors have done commendable work in establishing a national external ventricular drain related infection (ERI) rate and elucidating the factors influencing it in the largest prospective multicentre study. However, some questions have been left unanswered in this respect.
    One of the contributing factors to a low ERI rate in the study could have been the fact that majority (98.6%) of EVDs were inserted in the operating theatre. In their single centre retrospective study of 84 patients, Arabi et al[2] found that placement outside operating rooms was associated with a trend towards higher ERIs. Clark et al[3], in their retrospective review of complications of intracranial pressure monitoring in 140 trauma patients, noted that the incidence of major infectious complications (eg. clinical ventriculitis, subdural empyema, brain abscesses) was higher in the groups in which the catheter was placed in the intensive care unit. A randomised control trial would better examine the importance of this finding.
    In this study by Jamjoom et al[1], the authors found no significant difference between infected and uninfected cases with regard to the length of tunnelling. However, recent evidence although weak, points towards a preventive benefit of long tunnel EVDs over short tunnel EVDs.[4,5] Hence, a discussion about the role of tunnelling length in ERIs is felt missing in the paper.
    Korinek et al, in their stud...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.