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Kathleen S. Caregiver

Can a lvad recepient change their own driveline dressing

My husband is possibly going to get an lvad shortly.  Will he be able to learn how to maintain his own driveline.  I like to travel and would like him to be able to do this while I am away.

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Larry N.

My LVAD Team strongly discouraged trying to change it solo. One of the folks in our LVAD support group said that changing it himself led to his driveline infection. It’s probably possible, depending on the driveline location, but at the first you’ll be changing it every other day. This is why you need a second trained person to be available if you’re away. A driveline infection is something you definitely want to avoid.

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Ernest M.

I have had my LVAD for a year. My daughters are nurses and changed my dressing until Covid. I’ve been changing the dressing myself now. I stand in front of the mirror. It’s not that hard.

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Ray H.

I learned how to change my own dressing for emergencies (my wife taught me).  I would differ with Ernest in the process only because I can't use a mirror with everything backward.  I change mine standing next to my dressing table and just look down at it.  It is one time in my life that it has benefitted me to have a belly out there where I can see it!  We also trained my son, who lives nearby, and my daughter (who doesn't) and they have both stood in for their mother when she traveled.  I have had my LVAD 2 1/2 years now.