To identify rehabilitation course and functional outcomes in patients with an implanted total artificial heart (TAH).
From 2012 to 2015, 10 patients with a TAH implantation at a quaternary care hospital were identified for inclusion. Patients were referred to occupational and physical therapy by the cardiothoracic surgery team. Retrospective data collection included the Boston University Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC) “6-Clicks” inpatient short form based on the functional status documented weekly. Additional patient factors were reviewed specific to cognition, dysphagia, lymphedema, and skin integrity to obtain a comprehensive understanding of therapy scope.
The median acute hospitalization length of stay was 68 days. By the time of discharge, AM-PAC 6-Clicks functional mobility scores improved by 48% and AM-PAC 6-Clicks daily activity scores improved by 40%.
Following TAH implantation, patients appear to safely participate in a comprehensive restorative rehabilitation program in the intensive and progressive care units. Patients with a TAH implant showed improvement in their mobility and activity performance by the time of discharge.