Which of the following statements is TRUE for patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) at the end of life?
A. Administrations of bolus medications like opioids and benzodiazepine are ideally provided prior to LVAD discontinuation.
B. Discontinuing an LVAD is considered assisted suicide in at least 5 states.
C. The life expectancy for patients who stop LVAD therapy is about 2-4 weeks.
D. The procedure to deactivate an LVAD is the same for different models.
The correct answer is A.
In a low flow state and after LVAD discontinued, patients frequently have diminished circulation, which can result in prolonged time to peak effect after medications are administered. Answer B is incorrect; no states consider LVAD discontinuation assisted suicide. Most patients die within minutes to a few days after discontinuation of the LVAD; it is unlikely that they will live several weeks (answer C). The procedure for deactivation is different depending on the specific LVAD device. (answer D).
Fast Facts and Concepts #269: LVAD Deactivation