Patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) often cause much anxiety amongst providers in the emergency department. This is understandable with all of the hardware, diminished or absent peripheral pulses at baseline, and potential for complications. To add to the already helpful reviews about LVADs at REBELEM and emDocs, this is a PV card set providing a methodical approach to troubleshooting LVAD complications, including a reproduction of an algorithm for managing the LVAD patient with altered mental status from EMCrit.1–3

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Thumbnail LVAD image use approved by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research


  1. Partyka C, Taylor B. Review article: ventricular assist devices in the emergency department. Emerg Med Australas. 2014;26(2):104-112. [PubMed]
  2. Andersen M, Videbaek R, Boesgaard S, Sander K, Hansen P, Gustafsson F. Incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in patients on long-term support with a continuous-flow assist device (HeartMate II). J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009;28(7):733-735. [PubMed]
  3. Greenwood J, Herr D. Mechanical circulatory support. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2014;32(4):851-869. [PubMed]
Nicolas Stadlberger, MD

Nicolas Stadlberger, MD

Emergency Medicine Resident
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Nicolas Stadlberger, MD

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