Home Discharge Experience With the Thoratec TLC-II Portable Driver

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With the growing success and expanded use of ventricular assist devices, home discharge with independent ambulation and self-care are now important issues. We describe our initial home discharge experience with the Thoratec TLC-II portable drive. Patients discharged home were required to have five outpatient excursions (three monitored) before discharge and were seen weekly after discharge. Between August 2000 and December 2004, 14 patients (average age, 57 years) were placed on the TLC-II portable driver. One patient on the TLC-II portable driver had left ventricular assist device removal after 50 days of support but before discharge. Thirteen patients were discharged from the hospital with average time at home of 62 days (range, 16 to 243 days). After discharge, the TLC-II portable driver was maintained in the auto mode at average settings of 78 beat rate, 5.1 L/min flow rate, 204 mm Hg ejection pressure, and –8.4 mm Hg fill vacuum. A total of 5852 alarms (average, 6.7 per day) were recorded with 2373 battery reminders (41%), 1922 occlusion alarms during sleep (33%), and 1461 no-fill signals (25%). There were no readmissions for device malfunction, emergency battery utilization or back-up unit use. These results demonstrate that the Thoratec TLC-II portable driver is safe, reliable, and can be effectively managed at home.

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