AEF, infection, leg ulcer, nursing care, prophylactic antimicrobial therapy, prosthetic graft infection, surgical wound infection, vascular surgery, wound healing



  1. Wipke-Tevis, Deidre D. PhD, RNC, CVN


Vascular infections are a serious problem, often associated with high morbidity and mortality. This article reviews the etiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, and treatment of surgical wound infections, prosthetic graft infections, aortoenteric fistulas (AEFs), and infected vascular ulcers. The primary cause of surgical wound infections is contamination by skin organisms during surgery. Prosthetic graft infections typically result from a progressive wound infection. Comorbid conditions are also related to vascular infections. Nurses should identify vascular patients at increased risk for infection, monitor them closely, and intervene to optimize the healing environment.