Treatment Team Roles at UPMC's Artificial Heart Program
- Evaluate patients to determine whether they are eligible for a ventricular assist device (VAD) or for heart transplantation.
- Perform the donor and transplant operation.
- Manage any surgical decisions.
- Manage patients' medical treatment.
- Provide support throughout the entire process of implantation or transplantation.
- Participate in the selection of suitable VADs and stabilize patients before surgery.
Biomedical Engineers from Vital Engineering, a UPMC Program
- Help and support hospital staff members who care for patients on VADs.
- Perform routine checks on the devices.
- Help transport patients to and from medical tests.
- Provide care before, during, and after a patient receives a VAD.
- Assess the patient's physical condition.
- Explain the risks and benefits of assist devices and advise patients about any complications.
- Help educate patients and families about VADs.
- Evaluate the patient's ability to walk and exercise.
- Set treatment and rehabilitation goals after VAD implantation.
- Develop home exercise programs to improve the patient's physical condition.
Evaluate the patient's ability to perform the activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, preparing meals, and other tasks.
- Evaluate the patient's respiratory care needs before, during, and after implantation of a VAD.
- Administer medications, inhalers, and breathing exercises to help the lungs become strong.
- Support patients who have a temporary device, known as an intraoperative balloon pump (IABP).
- Transport VAD patients to surgery.
- Perform routine checks on VAD and assist the biomedical engineers.
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