Intra-aortic balloon pumps have traditionally been inserted via the femoral artery, limiting patients’ activity and exposing patients to complications of immobility. For patients awaiting cardiac transplant, these complications may threaten a successful outcome, or at the least, complicate recuperation after transplant. A novel approach to insertion of balloon pumps via the subclavian artery is presented here, including routine nursing care, complications and related nursing actions, and experience with and advantages of this method. A team approach to care of these patients, including rehabilitation and exercise protocols, is recommended.

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