Quality assessment of pacemaker implantations in Denmark
Aims Quality assessment of therapeutic procedures is essential to insure a cost-effective health care system. Pacemaker implantation is a common procedure with more than 500 000 implantations world-wide per year, but the general complication rate is not well described. We studied procedure related complications for all implantations performed in an entire nation over a 3-year period. Methods and Results A prospective study of complications related to 99% of the 5648 primary pacemaker
... acemaker implantations performed in the 12 Danish pacemaker centres in 1997-1999 was carried out. Overall 76% of the patients received a physiological pacemaker system and 91% received the optimal pacing mode according to international guidelines. Perioperative complications requiring reoperation were: haematoma 0·3%, atrial lead related 1·9%, ventricular lead related 1·7%. Late complications requiring reoperation were: infection 0·2%, atrial lead related 1·3%, ventricular lead related 1·2%. The complica-tion rate decreased over the study period, but overall the complication rate was higher than expected and showed considerable variation between centres. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that sensitive data such as complications related to pacemaker implantations can be collected on a national basis. We suggest that a reoperation rate higher than 3% for atrial as well as ventricular pacing electrodes in the individual implanting centre should cause the centre to evaluate carefully the procedure as well as the performance of the individual implanter.