National CIED Infection Initiative

Bridging gaps in awareness, detection and appropriate treatment of CIED infections


Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, save and extend lives. They are amazingly reliable and effective, but even the best tool comes with risks. As many as 1 in 20 patients with a CIED develops an infection within three years of implantation.

The science is clear about what to do: Patients with a CIED infection should be referred to a specialist with expertise in device extraction, and the CIED and all its components should be removed. This recommendation is supported by the American Heart Association, Heart Rhythm Society, British Heart Rhythm Society, European Society of Cardiology, and European Heart Rhythm Association. But despite the recommendations, many patients with CIED infection do not undergo complete system removal. Failure to remove the device is a life-or-death decision.

The AHA National CIED Infection Initiative seeks to address the gaps in awareness, detection, and appropriate treatment of cardiovascular implantable electronic device infection through a two-year initiative including a National CIED Infection Summit and National Quality Education Plan.

As many as 1 in 20 patients with a CIED develops an infection within three years of implantation.

CIED Infection Toolkit

Use this CIED Infection Toolkit as a resource both to learn about CIED infections and to increase awareness of the public health burden of CIED infection and urgency around timely infection identification and evidence-based treatment. 


CIED infections can produce a major, negative toll on the lives of patients. We are bridging gaps in the awareness, detection and guideline-based treatment of CIED infections with the National CIED Infection Initiative.


CIED Infection Initiative Media

Keep visiting this page to register for upcoming webinars, view recordings of past webinars and listen to podcast recordings. 


Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Infections: A Panel Discussion on CIED Infection and Health Equity   

Thursday, June 1st, 2023 | 12:00pm CT

Join AHA and our volunteer experts for a panel discussion as we explore the health crisis caused by cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) infection from a health equity lens. Our discussion will cover structural and systematic barriers to timely identification, referral, and treatment, as well as approaches to promote equitable care. 

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Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Infections: Debunking Common Misconceptions about CIED Infection and Treatment 

CIED Webinar 3

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 | 11:00am CDT

Join the American Heart Association, Dr. Elaine Y. Wan, D and Dr. Ellie Coromilas as we review and respond to common misconceptions about pacemaker and other CIED infections and treatment. Topics will include misconceptions related to management of device infections, perceived risk of lead extraction and over-confidence in antibiotics as a solo treatment.


Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Infection: Urgency in Time from Identification to Treatment and Removal

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 | 1:00pm CST

Join the American Heart Association, Dr. Sean Pokorney, Dr. John Andriulli, and Dr. Alexandra Wick as we discuss the structural barriers that lead to delays in identification and removal of the infection, the cost of CIED infection, and the ideal timeline for identification, removal, and/or treatment of the infection.


Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device Infections: Incidence, Impact, and Gaps in Care

Monday, July 25th, 2022 | 1:00pm CST

Join the American Heart Association, Dr. Bruce Wilkoff from Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Arnold Greenspon from Jefferson University Hospitals as we discuss the health crisis of Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device (CIED) infection and the importance of the timely removal of the device and its leads.


CIED Infection Initiative Proceedings Document Cover (PDF)

CIED Infection Initiative Proceedings Document

In March of 2022 a group of key opinion leaders, stakeholders, medical societies, patient groups and other system of care participants convened to identify barriers, opportunities and recommendations in support of improved awareness, detection and management of CIED infections. Read the proceedings document to learn about why the CIED Infection initiative was created, the current challenges to the patient journey, avenues for action and more. 

Download the proceedings document (PDF)

Learn more about the summit


Philips logo

Philips Image-Guided Therapy is a proud supporter of the American Heart Association's National CIED Infection Initiative.