Center for Advanced Practice


Home Is Where the HeartWare Is: Preparing Pediatric Patients and Caregivers for Discharge to Home and Integration Into the Community.

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ASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs : 1992)

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The Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has cared for patients with implanted ventricular assist device (VAD) technology since 1998. Historically, patients requiring VAD support were managed exclusively in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit with the first medically stable transition to the Cardiac Care Unit (step-down) taking place in 2001. Patient management was confined to the inpatient setting, as the primary device used at the time was paracorporeal and not suitable for home use. Continuous-flow devices, such as the HeartWare HVAD, have gained popularity because of miniaturized size and lower profiles of side effects and adverse events, making them more suitable for home use. This article describes a single-center experience with transitioning the VAD-supported pediatric patient to the outpatient setting, highlighting outcomes, strategies, and lessons learned in order to support VAD patients and their caregivers in the hospital and community setting.


Caregivers, Child, Female, Heart-Assist Devices, Humans, Male, Patient Discharge, Patient Education as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Self-Management



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