Until now, there were no standardized recommendations from the medical community regarding patient selection, surgical preparation, inpatient management and long-term care considerations for mechanical circulatory support patients. That changed this month with the release of new guidelines published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.
"There have never been guidelines that were this structured or this comprehensive," said University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) cardiologist Salpy Pamboukian, M.D., who co-chaired the committee that drafted the guidelines. She is also medical director of the mechanical circulatory support device program at UAB and co-section head of the section of advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant, mechanical circulatory support and pulmonary vascular disease in UAB Heart and Vascular Services. "There have been a lot of published papers on the management of patients with mechanical assist devices, but never really a best-practices guidelines document; never a comprehensive set of expert-reviewed and agreed-upon recommendations – until now."