Objectives: To review the medical and nursing care of children receiving mechanical circulatory support as part of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society/Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Joint Statement on Mechanical Circulatory Support.
Data Sources/Study Selection/Data Extraction/Data Synthesis: This is a general review of current issues of medical and nursing care of children on mechanical circulatory support. It consists of knowledge gained from practical experience combined with supporting evidence and/or discussion of controversies for which evidence exists or is inconclusive. The scope of this review includes assessment and monitoring, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal and fluid management, as well as infection prevention and treatment, neurological, and nutritional considerations. Physical and psychological care is discussed, as well as ethical and practical issues regarding termination of support.
Conclusions: There are unique aspects to the medical and nursing care of a patient requiring mechanical circulatory support. Preserving the possibility for cardiac recovery when possible and preventing damage to noncardiac organs are essential to maximizing the probability that patients will have quality survival following support with a mechanical circulatory support device.