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Patient Education Leads to Drop in Prosthetic Joint Infections

April 30, 2018
Knee joint

A study conducted at the Los Angeles-based Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) suggests that enhanced education on intravenous self-infusion of factor therapy can significantly reduce prosthetic joint infections for hemophilia patients. The lack of adherence to proper self-infusion protocol, including the practice of universal precautions, can put patients at a higher risk for infections.   

The lead investigator of the study was James Luck, MD, director of surgery and rehabilitation of OIC’s Hemophilia Treatment Center and professor-in-residence at the UCLA/Orthopaedic Institute for Children’s department of orthopedic surgery.

Infections associated with joint replacement are more prevalent in hemophilia patients than in individuals with other arthritic conditions. Positing that the rate of these type infections could be mitigated through education, the OIC initiated a robust education program to teach all hemophilia patients with prosthetics on proper self-infusion techniques. The program ultimately trained dozens of patients as the center performed 49 primary joint replacements in 32 patients with hemophilia. The results of the trainings were decisive.

“Incidents of infection dropped from 17 percent to zero percent for these patients, meaning that there have been no primary infections over this timeframe,” said Luck. “While immune suppression might still be an aggravating factor, it is clear from our study that the primary source of late infection in patients with hemophilia is frequent IV self-infusion being poorly administered. Through protocol-driven patient education in sterile techniques for IV self-infusion, the incidents of prosthetic joint infection can be significantly impacted.”

The OIC findings will be presented at the World Federation of Hemophilia 2018 World Congress, which will be held May 20-24, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Source: Businesswire.com, April 16, 2018