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Keywords:

  • left ventricular assist device;
  • cardiac transplantation;
  • cardiac rehabilitation

The number of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantations is growing as a result of increased waiting periods for cardiac transplantation and the decreased availability of organ donors. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved permanent LVAD support. After an acute hospitalization, patients with LVADs may need prolonged convalescence in a healthcare facility because they have complex medical needs and are physically disabled. Admission criteria need to be developed as essential patient and nursing competencies need to be defined as a part of a successful LVAD program in an acute rehabilitation center. Acute rehabilitation centers can help patients with LVADs transition to a home setting.