Experiences with end-of-life care with a left ventricular assist device: An integrative review.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Heart and Lung: the journal of acute and critical care, 2020, 49, (5), pp. 451-457
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Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are increasingly being used to treat end-stage heart failure. Despite the increased prevalence of these devices, there is a still a high 1-year mortality rate. The purpose of this integrative review was to systematically evaluate research studies that focused on the process and content of LVAD related end-of-life discussions. A literature search was conducted from earliest available date to November, 2017. A total of 59 citations were produced, 13 articles went under full review, and six studies remained for inclusion in this review. Patients and their caregivers experienced confusion and frustration regarding the end-of-life experiences and care related to disjointed care by their provider teams. Clinician experiences and opinions also suggested a controversy about deactivation of the LVAD at the end-of-life, and a divide regarding practices at the end-of-life. Research focused on system-level factors involved in end-of-life care for patients with an LVAD is needed.
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