Pediatric cardiac failure is a significant problem that may be caused by cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, or congenital defects that cannot be surgically repaired. Long-term mechanical circulatory support (LTMCS) devices provide hemodynamic support for patients in heart failure as a bridge to heart transplant and, sometimes, cardiac recovery or destination therapy. Critical care nurses must have a comprehensive understanding of LTMCS device function and keen assessment skills to detect signs of impaired perfusion and device failure. Nurses should anticipate postoperative interventions, prevent adverse events, and be prepared to respond during emergencies. Patient care should be family centered and nurses must strive to maximize patients’ quality of life throughout device implantation. This article provides a basic guide to caring for pediatric patients receiving LTMCS, including specific information regarding 4 devices that are often used for pediatric heart failure: Berlin Heart EXCOR, SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, HeartWare HVAD, and HeartMate II.

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