The pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) has recently shown substantial improvements in survival as a bridge to heart transplant for patients with end-stage heart failure. Since that time, its use has become much more frequent. With increasing utilization, additional questions have arisen including patient selection, timing of VAD implantation and device selection. These challenges are amplified by the uniqueness of each patient, the recent abundance of literature surrounding VAD use as well as the technological advancements in the devices themselves. Ideal strategies for device placement must be sought, for not only improved patient care, but also for optimal resource utilization. Here, we review the most relevant literature to highlight some of the challenges facing the heart failure specialist, and any physician, who will care for a child with a VAD.
- Berlin heart
- dilated cardiomyopathy
- heart failure
- mechanical circulatory support
- ventricular assist device