BNRF Staff Participate in Summit to Improve Awareness, Treatment of Cardiac Implantable Device Infections

The summit organized by the American Heart Association aims to bridge gaps in detection and appropriate care of implantable device infections

Black Nurses Rock participated in an American Heart Association summit of more than 40 health care professionals to bridge gaps in awareness, detection and appropriate treatment of cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) infections.

As many as one in 20 patients with a CIED, such as a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator, develops an infection within three years of implantation. Despite current guidelines, only one in five patients with a CIED infection undergoes timely extraction – the most appropriate treatment option. Early extraction is associated with a 41% lower risk of death. Female and Black patients are even less likely to undergo this lifesaving procedure.

During the summit, participants – including clinicians and patient advocates – shared insights to inform educational webinars and podcasts that will be promoted and disseminated across the American Heart Association’s extensive health care professional network. The multidisciplinary group also recommended:


  • development of patient and referring physician tools to drive earlier diagnosis,
  • creation of a care pathway and structures to support safe extraction, and
  • the launch of a patient awareness and education campaign.

“To treat CIED infections well, you need a broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to gather and leverage the available experts,” said Dr. Bruce Wilkoff, MD, planning group chairperson of the Association’s CIED initiative and director of cardiac pacing and tachyarrhythmia devices at Cleveland Clinic. “The American Heart Association is the perfect organization to get the message out. We can improve awareness, detection and treatment of CIED infections if we all work together.”

Learn more about this effort to drive evidence-based, equitable CIED infection care and sign up to receive the summit report and access related educational resources by clicking below.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.