Practice Issues for Evaluation and Management of the Suicidal Left Ventricular Assist Device Patient

Yelena Chernyak, Lisa Teh, Danielle R. Henderson, Anahli Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is a high prevalence of depression among left ventricular assist device patients, who present with an increased risk of suicidality given access to means via the device either with nonadherence or disconnection. Suicidality via device nonadherence/disconnection is an underresearched clinical issue, as paradoxically this life-saving procedure can also provide a method of lethal means to patients with significant mental health concerns. A case study is used to highlight the course of an attempted suicide by ventricular assistive device nonadherence. Clinical implications and recommendations for practice include a thorough psychological evaluation presurgery, monitoring quality of life and coping styles before and after placement, psychological testing, outlining specific suicide protocols, psychiatric care considerations for patients with highly specialized medical devices, and related ethical concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • LVAD
  • depression
  • left ventricular assist device
  • nonadherence
  • noncompliance
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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