Impact of technology of the critically ill: The utilization of mechanical ventricular assist devices

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The advancement of high technology in critical care has meant refined techniques in cardiac surgery, new pharmacologic agents, and promises for longer, higher-quality lives for many cardiac patients. This article describes the use of one of the most important technologic devices to assist the failing ventricle, the ventricular assist device. Topics addressed include historical perspective of the ventricular assist device, its indications and contraindications, the types of devices, potential complications, nursing implications, and a case study of a male patient with a ventricular assist device.

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