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sareed50's picture sareed50
going on an Alaskan Cruise
Sat, 07/29/2017 - 5:51pm

My husband received his HeartMate 3 May 24, 2017. He is having some issues with the sorbaview dressing. He hs very sensitive skin. Any ideas. Also we are planning an Alaskan Cruise next year. Any suggestions how to travel on a cruise ship with his contoller he plugs in at night and his battery charger.

RichmondLVAD's picture RichmondLVAD
Alaskan Cruise
Sun, 07/30/2017 - 3:49pm

Hi. It is pretty easy to travel by cruise ship with the Heartmate 2, I assume it is very similar to the Heart 3. For the Alaskan cruise, the ship is sure to have 110V electricity, and normal American style plugs. Just plug in your equipment as at home, and you will be ready to go.

I would suggest getting a small night light for the bathroom, to guide you at night.

We went on a river cruise in France last year, where they only have 220V electricity. All I needed was an plug adapter for my equipment, which I got on Amazon. The Heartmate equipment is 110-220 voltage. It was no problem.

Check out my post about the LVAD vest, which will make life so much more comfortable. My wife will send you the instructions by email. I forget I'm toting this equipment, seriously, and it doesn't show under most shirts.

Have a great cruise. Hank Richmond

RichmondLVAD's picture RichmondLVAD
Skin sensitivity
Sun, 07/30/2017 - 4:06pm

Hi, sorry to hear you are having skin sensitivity. Here are some tips my wife and I have figured out during the past three years. It's always a good idea to check with your doctor first before trying these ideas.

1. Keep the area shaved. My wife uses my Norelco shaver, but does not shave the immediate area around the driveline. She shaves the area where the bandages are going to stick.

2. As an alternative to the regular dressing kit, I use a 4 in by 4 in sterile gauze, taped in place by paper tape. This gives the usual taped area a break, as the gauze is larger and the taped area is moved out just a bit. Also, the paper tape is gentle. I like to use this dressing after a shower, because it allows the driveline exit point to dry nicely. I tape the gauze on, but leave the center area of the gauze untaped, so it can breathe. I clean the area first with two sterile 4 by 4 gauzes soak with rubbing alcohol. You can buy this gauze and tape online or get it from your LVAD supplier. They can also provide separate sterile gloves.

3. If my INR number is regularly on the high side, I have found that this makes my skin thinner and easier to bleed, especially around the driveline. Keeping the INR closer to the low side helps me a lot with this issue.

Hope this helps. Hank and Patty Richmond

RichmondLVAD's picture RichmondLVAD
Sun, 07/30/2017 - 9:43pm

Woops, the paper tape proper name is Micropore tape, two inches wide. Thanks.