How to wear your equipment
Here are a few things we’ve found helpful. Of course each VAD team has different requirements, procedures and even kits for their dressing changes. Always follow your VAD teams recommendations…
We use a driveline management kit provided by Centurion. It’s #DT18905. Your team may have a different kit.
One item that my wife found extremely helpful is the Latex Hydrogel sterile surgical gloves “Protexis” by Cardinal Health. I think they are available as non-latex as well. The hydrogel gloves are much easier to get on than the normal sterile gloves.
For shower time we use 2 sheets of Tegaderm Film (about 8”X12”) over the dressing and driveline site. Dressing change is done within 30 mins. after the shower.
Another good find. Run it by your team before ordering: Centurion dual Adjustable LVAD Anchors #ATAD44XT. They are softer and more comfortable than our previous anchor style. Your supplier may or may not have them. Our’s didn’t initially, but they now carry them.
Dockers makes a Men’s Elastic, braided, stretch belt. We’ve taken the controller holder off the belt that was supplied in the kit (too hard to adjust) and slid it onto this stretch belt for night use. Much more comfortable! I wear it with one of our anti-microbial, wicking, T-Shirts at night.
Another item that has been a godsend for me is the Cardinal Health Adhesive Remover Wipe, extra large #ZA30050XL. Really helps lessen, if not stop, skin tears when removing the dressing. As an additional preventive we use 3M Cavilon No Sting Barrier Film Wipes #3342. They really help with bandage removal and truly don’t sting unlike some others on the market. You can ask your coordinator if they would recommend any of these and they can be added to your prescription.
My wife had a electrician add a dedicated outlet just inside our master bedroom walk-in closet for the battery charger. A small table with a drawer holds the charger and we keep a copy of the manual in it for quick reference. Also added a shelf above for accessories. She got a cheap plastic 3 shelf unit at Walmart. It holds 3 large containers. Each container holds 10 driveline kits. When she gets down to the last 10, she knows it’s time to reorder. She also organized the top two shelves of our dresser to hold all the additional supplies, extra gauze, gloves, tapes, etc.
She attached a small shelf to the side of my night stand (since it’s already pretty full with my other stuff) to hold my portable charging unit, this is what you plug into at night. We put a couple small Velcro tabs on the bottom of the unit and on the shelf so it wouldn’t pull off so easily.
I’m sure your team told you this unit should be plugged into an outlet without a wall switch so it can’t be accidentally turned off. We have a crazy cat, so we also added a baby safe outlet box so the plug can’t be accidentally unplugged. We are very happy with one we found on Amazon by LectrlaLock. Speaking of Amazon, she also purchased a over bed table by Invacare that she uses when doing my dressing changes. She added a paper towel roll holder to the underside and a small clip on, flexible, LED light from IKEA.
The coordinator should have provided you a form/letter for the electric company. Our electric company sent us a sticker for the outside meter box with a warning not to shut off the power without notifying the occupant. Our coordinator gave us a letter to bring to our EMS team to notify them that I have an LVAD as well. I also suggest to have your electrician mark the breakers that your equipment is on with a label that says “Do Not Shut Off”