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ASAIO CARDIAC ABSTRACT

NURSING CARE AND TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN PATIENTS WITH THE LIONHEART LEFT VENTIRCULAR ASSIST DEVICE (LVAS) FOR ALTERNATIVE TO MEDICAL THERAPY

Ruzevich-Scholl, S A1; Swartz, M T1; Fey, O W1; Reeders, M J1; Zintak, H S1; McMurray, J1; Frank, D J1; Lewis, J P1; Weiss, W J2; Snyder, A J2; Rosenberg, G2; Shaner, K E1; Pae, W E2

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Clinical use of the Arrow LionHeart™ LVAS has been ongoing in Europe and the United States since October 1999. The LionHeart™ is a totally implantable LVAS providing left ventricular to aortic support. Electrical energy (AC or DC) is passed across the skin via radio waves to power the LVAS and charge the internal batteries. While post-operative nursing care is similar to that of other assist devices education needs to he focused on the power transmission system and compliance chamber management. The current internal batteries provide 20 minutes per day of “untethered time” where the patient is free of external components and power sources. An implanted compliance chamber eliminates the need for a percutaneous vent by accepting and releasing air as the pump fills and empties. Since air is diffused from the compliance chamber at a rate of 1–3 cc/day checks are instituted to ensure proper pump function. These checks can be easily done at the bedside or during clinic visits by the nursing or perfusion staffs. Thirty-three men age 35–72 years (mean 65) have been implanted. The cumulative duration of support is great than 23 years. Twelve patients have been discharged, with 5 surviving greater than 2 years. The longest survivor is greater than 3 years. Nurses should realize that all alternative therapy patients will for the foreseeable future require diligent medical care.

Copyright © 2004 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs