In 1986, clinical trials were initiated with a left ventricular assist device capable of supporting individuals in end-stage heart disease for extended periods of time (longer than 14 days). While supported by this device, patients were hemodynamically stabilized for future transplant and were afforded an opportunity to improve their overall health status. At initiation of support these patients were in New York Heart Association class IV, and within approximately 2 weeks, improved to class I. Their nutritional status improved, they were able to exercise regularly, and they became the “healthiest” candidates for cardiac transplant. Nursing care of a patient requiring the HeartMate provides the critical care nurse with new challenges

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