Ventricular Assist Devices
A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) is a device that takes over some of the function of the heart when it is critically weak. It is most commonly used while waiting for a suitable donor heart to be available for transplant.
A Ventricular Assist Device
Picture found at medicinenet
How Does It Work?
The device will be put in place by heart surgeons and is commonly in 3 sections. There is a single use blood pump, tubing to connect the pump to the heart's blood vessels and a console that controls the VAD itself. The tubing is placed in the left chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the body. Blood is pulled form the ventricle into the pump. The pump then sends the blood into the aorta, the large blood vessel leaving the ventricle.
Are There Any Complications?
All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.
Any Further Concerns?
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
Ventricular Assist Devices Version 1.1
First published June 2004
Reviewed June 2008
Reviewer Kathleen Ryan CNC ICCMU
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:25