VAD stands for “Ventricular Assist Device.” A VAD is a pump surgically placed in a sick or weak heart to help deliver blood to the body. Children may need a VAD because they are born with a heart problem or because one develops over time.
Children with heart failure often have symptoms like feeling short of breath, having trouble eating or gaining weight, and having low energy. A VAD may help these symptoms get better. Sometimes a VAD, depending on the type, will help you feel well enough to leave the hospital and return to school or work.
Let’s take a look at your care journey with a VAD.
There are many people that will care for you during your VAD journey, but your care team will guide you throughout the entire journey and always help you make decisions about your care. Just remember, you and your caregivers are a very important part of the team. Your care team may include:
VADs can be implanted in any chamber of the heart, but usually they’re located in the left ventricle. The location of the device determines what your VAD may be called.
A VAD may be used to help a heart pump for many reasons. Depending on your situation, a VAD may be used as a:
Although rare, complications may occur while living with a VAD, which may include:
Reducing VAD Risks
Although the complications above sound scary, there are many steps you and your care team will take to reduce the possibility of complications. VAD patients will: