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Adrian Banning, consultant cardiologist, and Peter Houghton, long-term left ventricular assist device (LVAD) wearer and psychotherapist, reflect on their 5-year relationship in helping Peter adjust to a life relying on an LVAD and ask what the experience teaches us about the use of LVADs as a long-term palliation for heart failure. The article notes the ups and downs of maintaining health for LVAD wearers, how they respond to common complaints like colds, infections, and so on, and what monitoring is vital both to check general health and pump performance. Some of the psychological problems of what the authors call "extra life" are also noted. The article is not solely based on the experience of the two presenters but also on their work with five other implantees, of whom three have died from unrelated problems (e.g., cancer and an accident).

Type

Journal article

Journal

ASAIO J

Publication Date

11/2005

Volume

51

Pages

xxi - xxiii

Keywords

Community Health Services, Heart-Assist Devices, Home Care Services, Humans, State Medicine, United Kingdom