4 risk factors for pneumonia infection after heart surgery

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An analysis of data derived from thousands of coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients revealed prominent pre-operative risk factors associated with post-operative pneumonia infections, according to a new study published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

The analysis involved information on more than 16,000 surgical patients from 33 hospitals. After developing a risk prediction model, researchers identified risk factors for post-operative pneumonia infection.

"This work reflects an evolution of our understanding of postoperative infections, and can go a long way to preserve resources and help patients recover from one of the country's most common cardiac procedures," said senior study author Donald Likosky, PhD, an associate professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

The four most prominent predictors of infection were:

1. Admission for heart surgery through the emergency room

2. A lengthy hospital stay prior to surgery

3. A history of lung issues

4. A low volume of blood pumped out by the heart per beat

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