Caregiver status and outcomes after durable left ventricular assist device implantation

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Abstract

Objectives

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.

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