Mechanical circulatory support in the form of ventricular assist devices (VADs) in children has undergone rapid growth in the last decade. With expansion of device options available for larger children and adolescents, the field of outpatient VAD support has flourished, with many programs unprepared for the clinical, programmatic, and administrative responsibilities. From preimplantation VAD evaluation and patient education to postimplant VAD management, the VAD program, staffed with an interdisciplinary team, is essential to providing safe, effective, and sustainable care for a new technology in an exceedingly complex patient population. Herein, this paper describes the Boston Children’s Hospital VAD experience over a decade and important lessons learned from developing a pediatric program focusing on a high-risk but low-volume population. We highlight the paramount role of the VAD coordinator, clinical infrastructure requirements, as well as innovation in care spanning inpatient and outpatient VAD supports at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Pediatric VAD Ventricular assist device VAD coordinator Outpatient VAD program Pediatric VAD program
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This paper was supported in part by the Alexia Clinton Fund and the Cardiac Transplant Research and Education Fund.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Dr Francis Fynn-Thompson acts as a proctor/consultant for HeartWare Inc. None of the other authors have any financial or otherwise conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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