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Suzanne F. Family Member

LVAD REHBILITATION / Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

My dad had his heart attack on April 30th - was planted with the LVAD (without being aware on May 17) and was finally woken up on June 3rd. Due to being out and in an induced COMA so long, he lost muscle function and weight and was extremely weak. He was sent to a rehab facility this Wednesday (which he is not too fond up) and they only do therapy 1 hour a day (M-F). Has anyone else had REHAB? How long did you go? Where did you go? How many hours a day? ETC> I am so frustrated, I just want him to feel less helpless.

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Ronald D.

I was in the hosp for 84 days (21 in rehab)sedated 2 weeks after my L-Vad surgery,,,i had a few complications they didn't foresee that's why it was so long

rehab was 2 hrs a day (PT) OT was 1 hr I too wasn't fond of the facility but the rehab personal were fantastic,,i have been home almost 1 mo now taken 3 falls 1 due to passing out 2 due to my carelessness, it is frustrating at times we are trying to learn to live with the vad,,have a great team at Penn Presbyterian in Phila Pa,,,wish you & your dad good luck,,,it will get better that's what i keep telling myself

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Andrea M.

I only received outpatient physical therapy via a home healthy agency following my VAD placement this past May. I am fortunate and had no complications and came home after only 7 days in the hospital.

I was a nurse before I got too sick to work and my primary experience was in a rehab hospital, from my experience, one hour a day, M-F is not enough time in therapy (of any discipline) and I really question why it's this way. Is therapy available only then or is it your Dad's careplan (based on his condition and etc.) to have it like this?

Is the facility staff (outside therapists) working with him and supporting his therapeutic goals? For instance, is he encouraged to do things himself as tolerated or do they just do it for him? Are you and other potential caregivers being taught how to care for him and to continue to encourage independence?

Depending on your responses to these questions, I believe I'd seek another rehab facility or even consider trying to get him into the care of a home health agency offering PT and OT. I don't know your families situation in its entirety, so the home health thing may not even be possible, but for many it is a very viable means of receiving therapies.

Good luck to you and your father! I hope he improves steadily!

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Laura W.

I have been researching LVAD's all day due to having a referral of a new home heath client with one. Depending on the patient's condition and surgeon's protocol, the prescribed length of a therapy session is 30 minutes per discipline ( 30 minutes OT and 30 minutes PT). It can progress to more time, but the progression is slow and intensely monitored, and as always, depends on the patient's physical and emotional tolerance.