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Lissa N. Family Member

Best type of blood pressure monitor

Hello, we are new to the VAD community. My husband received his VAD (Heartmate III pump) on August 5th. We live in a small town located 5 miles away from a much larger city, and 24 different home health care agencies refused to provide home health care services (blood draws for lab work) because we live outside of their boundary area or they were experiencing staffing shortages.

Our hospital signed us up for remote home care monitoring. A blood pressure reading (watching for trends) is one the categories being monitored. I know it's much harder to get a BP reading for a VAD patient because I witnessed it with the nurses while my hubby was still hospitalized.

We have an automatic cuff purchased in 2013 from a Walgreens Drug Store. I'm considering buying a new automatic cuff. I've seen models that obviously look more high tech, but if I'm going to spend the money, it would be wonderful to have some reassurance it will work with a VAD.  If you have experience with BP cuffs that anyone can purchase (over the counter, or via the Internet) I would appreciate any advice! Thank you in advance! 

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Cindy G.

We were sent home from the hospital with a blood pressure kit (doppler monitor) provided by ActiCare.  We take his blood pressure each morning and he logs in to ActiCare and reports all of his numbers.

Cindy Glenn

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Shafiq r.

I am in Scotland. Husband has recently had heartmate111 and discharged home. We were not asked to check blood pressure at all only INR (warfarin levels) and was given a Kit to do this himself. He was at another hospital recently and the nurse took BP but couldn't get it. My understanding is it is a continuous circuit of blood so there would not be much of a pulse. The two things we were told that would kill him would be blood clots or infection in the drive line. Never any mention of taking a blood pressure. I am unsure how one gets a blood "pressure" with an LVAD as it is set at a continuous rpm
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Pam J.

We were also provided a Doppler type cuff upon discharge. A regular cuff most likely will not work. Best wishes. 

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In reply to by Pam J.

Juanita P.

Pam that is so nice that your hospital provided a doppler type device for readings.  While I was in the hospital, they would do regular bp and doppler to compare...Not sure why they were killing time....The aide would come in and take regular, no clue, and then the nurse would come in with doppler.  I just laughed and said help yourself.  Whatever works.  Oh by the way, I've been an LVAD patient for almost 3 years.  Heartmate II. Knock on wood, no problems to date, just sore shoulders and neck.  

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Juanita P.

You can get a Bp with regular cuff and stethoscope.  The first bump/beep you hear or see,  diastolic pressure, the bottom number.  Which is what they are looking for.  That takes practice on taking bp's though.  But they are not hard to do once get hang of it.  There are times though while at the Dr's office they do get a reading from  me with a regular cuff.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  Normally, they do.  All the doctor's don't use a doppler. Some nurses are "green"  with the doppler or their office don't even have one.    I was a volunteer EMT so that did help me....In my other life.  I would just say get familiarized with bp's/pulse ox etc...the educated/informed patient is the best patient. Empower and educate yourself on what it's all about.  I hope my input was helpful.  And try not to stress too much!! Your new with the LVAD and there is so much to take in and absorb.   However, you will eventually get it, this too is a process.  

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Jerry M.

I go to Seton which is in the same City with Abbot (Austin, Texas) who owns the Heartmate. They do not provide blood pressure monitors. In fact my nurse Cordinator got information from my insurance company to try and find me a doppler since I wanted one but she quit trying after three  Companys said they didn't have them. I had to look them up on ebay and buy one. The Cordinators here don't do much for you if it seems extra. The hospital works them to the bone and your lucky to have one at all.

I thought t should be better than this but I guess not.