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John S. Prospective Patient

Driveline dressing change

Has anyone out there in LVAD land been successful in changing their own driveline dressings and if so, please pass along how you do it. I can only get so far before I have to let my wife finish the job. I currently do a sterile dressing change but am having a hard time lining up the tagaderm and keeping the drive line straight. There has to be a simple step I am missing.

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Brian F.


i had the same issue changing the regadera patch.  I found If I stood in front of the mirror while doing the change it was easier.  I could see better what I was doing and though the alignment was never as good as when my wife did it i could usually complete the job.  I used to place the regadera patch on one side then holding the driveline with my one hand I would pull the rest of the tape off and apply the patch over the line.

Best of luck to you.


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Larry B.

I don’t actually do mine since my wife says she enjoys doing it. But, after three years on weekly changes I’m sure I could do it. The only hitch I see is like you, when putting the tegaderm on. Not as much a problem with the tegaderm as with keeping the driveline from not being straight while doing it. If I had to do it I figure I would put a piece of tape on the driveline to keep it in the proper place while putting on the dressing.

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norrris m.

My wife has changed my dressing for over 3 years. It is a sterile field. Both wear masks. Turn off fans oy anything that moves air.  Only the changer should touch the drive line area after sterilizing her hands. The bandage is then removed and the field cleaned . The biopatch is placed then the field bandage applied. There is an upper field bandage that helps secure the field.  The final step is to attach the anchor bandage which holds the non -sterile drive line and guards against pulls on the drive line.  Hope this helps. Once the process is old hat the process should take less than 15 minutes.  REMEMBER- cleanliness and sanitation are instrumental in preventing infection.

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Stephanie G.

my husband came home in February of this year. I use a cabinet in my kitchen to store all his driveline kits and his charging unit set in our kitchen on the breakfast bar. Easy access. It also out of the way.  Lots of luck  and remember to take it one day at a time. 

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Lisa J.

wheHi John,

I change my own dressing every other day (always after showers).  I had to modify my weekly dressing as the one prescribed irritated my skin. Can give you details of all items used if you would like to know.  

 To hold driveline I change my anchor first so it is stable and in place prior to bandage change.  I use a 4 x 6 tagaderm with a window (#1626W) for placement.     I also stand when applying the tagaderm and use skin prep to keep in place.  (it is not sweat proof, have yet to find a solution)

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In reply to by Lisa J.

Kevin A.

I am currently being evaluated for both an LVAD and potential transplant. My family lives far away and my fiancé is currently undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic ovarian cancer. So while I know she wants to be my caregiver, right now we kind of support and care for each other.

So in making this decision to move forward with the surgery can you tell me from your experience how independently you feel you can live with the device? I see you can do your own dressing changes... just wondering where and if you found you needed a lot of help.

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Garicke R.

No different than having spouse or caregiver do it. I have done mine for the past 2 years. I stand in the bedroom and complete the task. No mirror needed. I don't however use the tegraderm patch, My skin does not like it. I do use the drainage sponges but I opted for the 2x2 IV drainage sponges and just do the 4" tape. Not as bulky.
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Donald H.

Haven’t attempted self-dressing change since getting infection first attempt. Having constant issue with skin coming off around driveline after every other day change using Sorbiview & 2 X 2 gauze. Any ideas out there on how to keep skin on so driveline exit area.

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Insurance wont cover unless patient is homebound as defined by medicare. It's not always possible to get a friend or

sometimes a family member to certify or for patient to trust that person so insurance isn't involved.  It's not covered by

any LTC insurance either.  I currently have to travel to physician offices to do it but not permanently.   I've had an LVAD

for almost 5 yrs.  Until recently family did it but no longer.   I realize now that I must learn to do it myself but logically

who of you wont be forced to when your current caregivers wont or cant.   Best wishes to all VAD patients.