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Experience with a "Hotline" service for outpatients on a ventricular assist device


Biefer, Hector Rodriguez Cetina; Sündermann, Simon Harald; Emmert, Maximilian Yosri; Hasenclever, Peter; Lachat, Mario Louis; Falk, Volkmar; Wilhelm, Markus Johannes (2014). Experience with a "Hotline" service for outpatients on a ventricular assist device. Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon, 62(5):409-413.

Abstract

Objectives With the growing number of outpatients on ventricular assist devices (VADs), there is an increasing need for "home discharge programs." One important feature is a 24-hour telephone service. In our center, the perfusionists run a so-called "hotline" for all of our VAD patients. This study analyzes the hotline calls with regard to frequency, the reason for calling, and the type of action undertaken.Patients and Methods Over a period of 5 years, 16 (12 EXCOR and 4 INCOR; Berlin Heart, Berlin, Germany) of 33 VAD patients (48%) were discharged and instructed to use the "hotline" service. All the calls received by the perfusionists were reviewed. We classified the calls into three levels according to the severity of the problem: Level (L) 1 = assistance provided by the perfusionist alone; L2 = calls requiring discussion with the surgeon on duty and/or visit to the outpatient clinic ahead of time; and L3 = immediate action and/or admission to the hospital.Results Over a period of 2,890 outpatient days (7.9 years), a total of 26 calls were registered. There were 0.9 calls per 100 patient days and 1.6 calls per discharged patient. Out of the 26 calls, 14 calls (54%) were classified as L1, 8 (31%) as L2, and 4 (15%) as L3. The most frequent reasons for L1 or L2 calls were fibrin deposits in the EXCOR pump chamber (39%), followed by battery dysfunction (19%). L3 calls were related to dysfunction of the EXCOR driving units in three cases and to an EXCOR pump chamber disconnection, which the patient did not survive.Conclusions The institution of a hotline is an essential component of a VAD outpatient program. It provides a certain level of safety for the patient, although a residual risk remains.

Objectives With the growing number of outpatients on ventricular assist devices (VADs), there is an increasing need for "home discharge programs." One important feature is a 24-hour telephone service. In our center, the perfusionists run a so-called "hotline" for all of our VAD patients. This study analyzes the hotline calls with regard to frequency, the reason for calling, and the type of action undertaken.Patients and Methods Over a period of 5 years, 16 (12 EXCOR and 4 INCOR; Berlin Heart, Berlin, Germany) of 33 VAD patients (48%) were discharged and instructed to use the "hotline" service. All the calls received by the perfusionists were reviewed. We classified the calls into three levels according to the severity of the problem: Level (L) 1 = assistance provided by the perfusionist alone; L2 = calls requiring discussion with the surgeon on duty and/or visit to the outpatient clinic ahead of time; and L3 = immediate action and/or admission to the hospital.Results Over a period of 2,890 outpatient days (7.9 years), a total of 26 calls were registered. There were 0.9 calls per 100 patient days and 1.6 calls per discharged patient. Out of the 26 calls, 14 calls (54%) were classified as L1, 8 (31%) as L2, and 4 (15%) as L3. The most frequent reasons for L1 or L2 calls were fibrin deposits in the EXCOR pump chamber (39%), followed by battery dysfunction (19%). L3 calls were related to dysfunction of the EXCOR driving units in three cases and to an EXCOR pump chamber disconnection, which the patient did not survive.Conclusions The institution of a hotline is an essential component of a VAD outpatient program. It provides a certain level of safety for the patient, although a residual risk remains.

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2014 07:59
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:30
Publisher:Georg Thieme Verlag
ISSN:0171-6425
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1351352
PubMed ID:23990139

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