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AACN Adv Crit Care. 2016 Jul;27(3):301-315.

Balloon Pumps Inserted via the Subclavian Artery: Bridging the Way to Heart Transplant.

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Catherine Murks is Nurse Practitioner, Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Chicago Medicine, 5841 S. Maryland, MC 2016, Chicago, IL 60637 ( Colleen Juricek is Ventricular Assist Device Coordinator, Department of Surgery, Section of Cardiac Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.


Intra-aortic balloon pumps have traditionally been inserted via the femoral artery, limiting patients' activity and exposing patients to complications of immobility. For patients awaiting cardiac transplant, these complications may threaten a successful outcome, or at the least, complicate recuperation after transplant. A novel approach to insertion of balloon pumps via the subclavian artery is presented here, including routine nursing care, complications and related nursing actions, and experience with and advantages of this method. A team approach to care of these patients, including rehabilitation and exercise protocols, is recommended.


Intra-aortic balloon pump; ambulatory; heart failure; physical therapy; transplant

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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