I recently had the chance to read “Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum,’ and Ventricular Assist Devices” (December 2009:29–39). I work in a facility in which several ventricular assist device (VAD) insertions are performed, yet I have never personally cared for a patient with this device. I was intrigued by the simulation used by the authors to describe the emotional, psychological, and physical effects of needing a VAD. The article is descriptive and very informative and I feel I have learned quite a lot from it.

Reading about how often the patients are not able to use the VADs as bridge to transplant is very disheartening. In another article, Granfeldt et al11 discussed implantation of VADs and the problems that these patients faced. Interestingly, this article also related to “The Pit and the Pendulum” because the patients felt they...

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