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Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Infections in Adult Patients

Author(s): Diana L. Wells, PharmD, BCPS, John M. Allen, PharmD, BCPS

Contact Hours: 1.00

CERP A: 1.00

Expires Jan 01, 2017

Topics: Neurology, InfectiousDisease

Population: Adult

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt infections are a common complication in patients with these devices. Because children with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts are more likely to experience infections, considerably more studies evaluating this complication in children are available than studies evaluating this complication in adults. 1 – 3 The available literature on VP shunt infections in adults consists mainly of retrospective chart reviews and case reports, making it difficult to determine the optimal care these patients should receive when they have an acute infection. As a result of the potential complications of VP shunt infections, patients often are treated in the intensive care unit and nurses play a major role in ensuring the optimal care for these patients. This column summarizes the published data describing the incidence and risk factors, microbiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of VP shunt infections in adult patients.


  • List 3 risk factors for ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt infection.
  • Recognize the different types of pathogens involved with early versus late VP shunt infections.
  • Describe 2 methods of antibiotic prophylaxis for preventing VP shunt infection.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

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