End-stage heart failure patients are being supported with continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD) in increasing numbers. The severe physiologic and pharmacologic derangements associated with end-stage heart failure therapies predispose these patients to delirium. During a delirious episode, a patient may inadvertently disconnect CF-LVAD equipment, which may have dangerous consequences. Unfortunately, it is not yet routine to use readily available clinical monitoring tools to allow early detection of delirium in this high-risk population. The authors present a case of acute hyperactive delirium leading to pump power disconnection and cardiopulmonary arrest occurring 7 days after CF-LVAD implantation. The case highlights the need for delirium awareness in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and the unique challenges associated with resuscitation of CF-LVAD patients. The authors propose that cardiovascular intensive care unit patients undergo at least twice daily delirium monitoring and provide a novel resuscitation algorithm for patients who have CF-LVADs.
- Code algorithm
- Heart failure
- Left ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas