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Jeff B. Recipient

Dry suit and swimming

To Fellow LVAD users who must swim, snorkel, or dive some questions:

1. Do you participate in all the water sport activities mentioned above? 2. If so, how did you size yourself to best fit in a dry suit and what brand did you buy?  I am 5'10" and 210# My device is a Heart Mate III. 3. Did you get a Neoprene or Membrane dry suit? 4. Is it a dry suit called or connotated as a "shell" or "laminate"? 5. Do you utilize socks or boots? 6. How many "seals" would you recommend, a) 3- neck & wrists or b) 4- neck, wrists and ankles? 85% of my water activities would be in a a pool or the gulf swimming. I prefer not to wear a hood but will if circumstances dictate. The website I have looked at for water proof dry suits is https// and items are Water proof D9X Breathable Men's Dry suit or the Bare X-Mission Evolution dry suit. I am thinking I should use a front zip dry suit. 

Thank you in advance for your help.     J.

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Noma L.

Jeff,  What information have you gotten about swimming?  I have had my LVAD for 3 years and each summer is more depressing than the last not being able to swim.  Hoping for any positive news.  Thanks,  Noma 

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Jeff B.

Noma, My Doctor strongly discouraged trusting a Dry suit even after I provided him with a list of Pros. He reminded me of his introduction to LVAD and the 100% No Swimming, No submerging of any kind.

Hope you find something that will work for you to swim.

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Jillian F.

As a VAD coordinator I strongly discourage submerging in water even with a wet suit or dry suit. You should really discuss this with your center before buying anything and trying it out. I can tell you first hand what happens when the equipment gets wet. 

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Ray ..

U-h-h-h .... I dunno Jeffie.

Have you practiced the controller switch out sequence ?

What if a Trigger fish nips the suit, or, you get too close to a ‘gater Snapper turtle ?

My LVAD has no water drain-off and power reset button.  Maybe the LVAD IV will have one ?

Until then, the LVAD support Lead might agree that your swimming aspirations are Russian roulette.

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Shauna A.

I always encouraged LVAD patients to avoid water sports/experiences due to the possible dire consequences.  

Can't imagine what would happen if water gets into the suit - frightening to me!

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Noma L.

     Thank you all. Loved the humor.  
     I was intrigued by Jeff’s questions and wondered if there was something I had missed.  My LVad team’s original response to swimming is still strong in my brain. When I said I didn’t want LVad if I couldn’t swim, I was politely told “then you’ll die”.  
    And I definitely like being alive!!   Be safe and smart everyone.

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Jeff B.

To LVAD ettes,  

My responses, both from medically (MD) , LVAD patients, families and staff have helped.  I will NOT think about doing anything ever underwater or a compromising water event.  I pray you don't either.  I will consider my blessing of LVAD and go forward. To you all the best,  Jeff