Low Flow alarms on HeartWare LVADSun, 07/22/2018 - 8:10PM
Hello, my name is Chris and I have had my HeartWare LVAD for a little over a year now. Life with the device had gone mostly as well as could be expected although I have experienced one problem that is quite a nuisance and was wondering if anyone had some feedback or advice on how to tackle this problem. Every so often I get these alarms for low flow rate and and told to contact my VAD team. Their usual response is to drink fluids and this does work most of the time. However on two separate occasions I have had low flow alarms that do not resolve themselves even after drinking 3+ liters of fluid over a span of several hours. Here is where the tricky part sets in. My flow rates always tend to increase with activity and decrease when at rest (i.e. sleeping). These low flow alarms make it extremely difficult to get any sleep because as soon as I start to relax BOOM the alarm will sound. I’ve had nights where I could do nothing but pace around my bedroom just to keep the alarms at bay. I love my LVAD team and they are super however they seem to get stumped in regards to offering me a solution to this problem. First line of response is to tell me to drink fluids and call if the alarms persist. When and if the alarms continue the course of action is to come to the hospital where a fluid bolus will be administered. This option is not very attractive though as I live roughly an hour and a half away from the hospital. I am all ears to hear from you all on this subject. Perhaps some of you have had similar experiences or hopefully someone may have a better plan of attack on this tricky subject. What is found to be so frustrating as well is that even after drinking extremely large quantities of fluid my flow rates will not increase back to a level that will not sound an alarm for low flow. If anyone can help me out with this issue I’d be very interested and anxious to hear what you have to say. Thanks so much for any input possible!