To determine the relationship between caregiver status and outcomes after durable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation.Background
The absence of a caregiver is a relative contraindication to durable LVAD support.Methods
Forty-three patients that underwent primary LVAD implantation were divided into three groups: those with caregivers that retained their roles for the duration of LVAD support (CG group), those with caregivers that resigned their roles (CG-QUIT group), and those implanted without an assigned caregiver (No-CG group). Group-specific characteristics and post-implant outcomes were compared.Results
In the CG-QUIT group, caregivers did not live in the same home (0.0% vs. 80.6% of CG group) and none were spouses (0.0% vs. 64.5% for CG group). Thirty-day readmission rate was highest in the CG-QUIT group (83.3% vs. 25.8% in CG group and 16.7% in No-CG group).Conclusions
Caregiver relationships were more likely to be maintained for the duration of LVAD support when the caregiver was a spouse and resided in the same home as the patient. Carefully selected patients implanted without a designated caregiver had comparable outcomes to those who retained their original caregiver.