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Larry G. Recipient

Ongoing scabs driveline

Just wondering if anyone else have ongoing scabs around the drive line my doctor says the site looks good no infections and it would never heal because no matter how secure the line is it still moves. Had my lvad since Aug 2018 doing well  even went to my winter camp for ice fishing and my inverter generator worked the battery charger and a.c. power cord.

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Larry B.

True story on never actually healing. No big deal. Mine always has a little crust around the entry site. Got mine in Oct 16 and not even a hint of an infection yet and I'm pretty active. I play golf and shower every morning and still havent had any problems. 


Donald, if you are using the antimocribial dressing nothing other than it should ever come in contact with your exit site.

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In reply to by Donald H.

gail p.

Yes I would like to know about ointment. We have had the lvad since 2012 and never been told about any type of ointment

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Reiss T.

I have had my Heartmate II going on nine years and so far have had no problems with scabs or infections. I credit my wife/caregiver for keeping me problem free by taking meticulous care when doing my weekly after shower dressing change. I have also been fortunate so far in not snagging or dislodging the driveline causing it to bleed. Can't agree with your doc on this one.

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In reply to by Reiss T.

Richard B.

Could you describe for us how you shower and what kit you use for dressing changes.  I've never known anyone who made 9 years without an infection.  I lasted 1 1/3 years.

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In reply to by Richard B.

Patricia S.

I'm my husband's caregiver. He has had his Heartware LVAD since August 2015 and has never had a driveline infection. I use the overkill approach for the shower. I tape up the area in three ways: using the small ShowerGuard plastic sheet provided in the Post Op driveline kit, I cover the anchor completely and part of the bottom of the bandage, without getting tape on the anchor (makes it easier to take off); use  a large (6"x8") Tegaderm film sheet to cover from above the bandage at top, down to overlap the Post Op ShowerGuard plastic sheet on the bottom; use 2" 3M Transpore plastic tape around the outside of the Tegaderm and ShowerGuard sheets. The bandage and anchor - the whole area - is taped so there is no possibility that water can seep in from anywhere, including sliding down the driveline cable. My husband does not have to be careful about getting water near the driveline bandage because I tape the heck out of it. We use a Post Op dressing by preference.

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In reply to by Richard B.

Patricia S.

It's the dressing that was used in the hospital. Upon release, we were given a different kind of driveline management kit. I asked to use the same one from the hospital, and we've used it ever since. The actual name is VAD Driveline Management Kit, Post Op, by Centurion, Reorder # DT19000. The main difference is the Island Dressing ( From Centurion's website: "The Centurion Island Dressing doesn't stick to wounds, because it's made with a highly absorbent, lint-free pad. The dressing is manufactured with a special non-woven fabric that is very flexible, making it very comfortable for patients." Advantages listed, all of which we agree with: 

  • Very easy to apply and remove
  • Non-sensitizing adhesive keeps dressing in place for long wear times (we change my husband's dressing once a week or so)
  • Highly absorbent, lint-free pad does not stick to wounds
  • Fabric "breathes" like skin, and conforms to body's movement

My husband gets no red spots or broken skin from this bandage's adhesive around the edges, and the non-woven fabric is very comfortable for him. 

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In reply to by Richard B.

Steven R.

I’m going on 3 years without a driveline infection. I would make sure I was changing my dressing just like they did at the hospital.  Some people take shortcuts by not using the masks that come with the kits.  Some people don’t use the sterile gloves, instead use the ones that are not packaged.

As far as the shower goes.  I always use a shower shield.  I use a detachable shower head that has about a 4’ hose attached.  I never just let water spray on the shower shield.  I stand with my back towards the front of the shower and underneath the shower head.  I like using a scrunchy to apply soap. It doesn’t hold water.  I can let go of the shower head and let it dangle down while I lather up.  Then rinse off.  Ok I don’t endorse this or recommend it without proper precautions taken.  I’ve never had my LVAD in the shower with me.  I have a bar outside the shower that is secured with screws in the stud.  You can hang from it.  It’s extra sturdy.  I hang my bag with the shoulder strap on the bar.  So my bag hangs right beside me outside the shower just as if I had my wife holding the bag while I showered.  The key is to always take your shower when you have someone available.  I also have a shower seat available in the shower should I need it.

The big key is never to let water get on the driveline next to your stomach.  Clean the driveline cable every time you change dressing.

Hope this was helpful.

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In reply to by gail p.

Bobb P.

I have work on and around power system for

most of my career.   Only “Pure Sin-wave generators should be considered!   Most auxiliary generators tend to be electricity noisy and the frequency is dependent on the engine speed which varies with load. You meet one of the newer “Inverter Type” generators. I have had a Honda unit for several years and it’s has provided quiet power    For many years. If you must use an inverter ,  it should also be a pure sine wave unit.  There are many inverters and generators that claim to provide suitable power.      Get reliable help when seeking auxiliary power

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Juanita P.

Hello Everyone, has anyone ever had a tear in the drive line, and if so how did the hospital handle it?  I have a couple small tears in the line, I'm very active, workout etc.  The hospital affiliated with uses flex tape to go around couple times on the drive line.  It doesn't look pretty but covers the small tear.  I am worried that someday here soon, it will need to be replaced...Can anyone share their experience..


Thank you. Juanita.

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In reply to by Juanita P.

Doug W.

In my case it was the outer cover of the line between the heartmate3 controller and the connector before the line enters the stomach. All they did was disconnect the line and replace it with a new one. I was only disconnected for a few seconds and I felt nothing. 

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In reply to by Juanita P.

Bobb P.

Yes, I’ve had a couple and the hospital staff had some very thin, strong white tape.  I’ve had a patch for a couple of years and it’s holding up fine.