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The primary goal of this observational clinical study was to register the occurrence of incorrect inflation and deflation timing of an intra-aortic balloon pump in autoPilot mode. The secondary goal was to identify possible causes of incorrect timing. During IABP assistance of 60 patients, every four hours a strip was printed with the IABP frequency set to 1:2. Strips were examined for timing discrepancies beyond 40 ms from the dicrotic notch (inflation) and the end of the diastolic phase (deflation). In this way, 320 printed strips were examined. A total of 52 strips (16%) showed incorrect timing. On 24 of these strips, the incorrect timing was called incidental, as it showed on only one or a few beats. The other 28 cases of erroneous timing were called consistent, as more than 50% of the beats on the strip showed incorrect timing. We observed arrhythmia in 69% of all cases of incorrect timing. When timing was correct, arrhythmia was found on 13 (5%) of 268 strips. A poor quality electrocardiograph (ECG) signal showed on 37% of all strips with incorrect timing and 11% of all strips with proper timing. We conclude that inflation and deflation timing of the IABP is not always correct when using the autoPilot mode. The quality of the ECG input signal and the occurrence of arrhythmia appear to be related to erroneous timing. Switching from autoPilot mode to operator mode may not always prevent incorrect timing.