EVD (external ventricular drainage) is a frequently used procedure in neurological and neurosurgical ICU (intensive care unit). It allows CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) drainage and therefore it helps to control ICP (intracranial pressure) rises in patients with acute hydrocephalus. The main causes of acute hydrocephalus are SAH (subarachnoid haemorrhage), ICH (intracerebral haematoma) and tumours. A frequent complication of this procedure is infection, which is reported in literature in the range of 5–20%. Infection of an EVD leads to removal of the device, likely to its reinsertion, to prolonged hospital stay, increased costs and to higher morbidity. The purpose of this retrospective study is to analyse the experience of a single centre with EVDs, to evaluate the risk factors and the frequency of EVD infections and the effect of infection on the final outcome.
We retrospectively analysed all EVDs inserted in the ICU of the Neurological Clinic of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana in the period from January 2013 to December 2014. Patient demographics, underlying diagnosis, eventual development of infection, need for exchange or repositioning of the EVD, duration of drainage, clinical outcome and need for permanent VP shunt were recorded.