Mobilizing pre-heart-transplant patients with a percutaneously placed axillary-subclavian intraaortic balloon pump: A retrospective study

Frederick R. Macapagal, Lisa Green, Emma McClellan, Carrie Bridges


The intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) is a treatment for end-stage heart failure patients not responsive to pharmacological therapy pre heart transplantation. An alternative approach--the percutaneously placed axillary-subclavian intraaortic balloon pump (PAxIABP) developed by cardiologists in our hospital enable patients to be mobilized while awaiting transplant versus the traditional bedrest in the femoral approach. Our objective is to determine if PAxIABP therapy enable pre-heart-transplant patients to safely mobilize. A retrospective study of pre-heart-transplant PAxIABP patients in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) from 2007 to 2013 (n = 45; 35 men, 10 women) was conducted to determine mobility. Data are presented as mean (standard deviation) for continuous variables and number (percentage) for categorical variables. Patients were mobilized at 1.39 (± 1.41) days after PAxIABP insertion. The number of times mobilized per day was 1.79 ± 2). Transplant waiting time was 24.98 ± 25.03) days. Thirty-seven patients (82%) were transplanted. Two patients had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) inserted and later transplanted. Six patients died before receiving a heart transplant, patients were 100% mobile. Complication rates: 4% bleeding; 7% ischemic complications; 2% IABP-related infection. Pre-heart-transplant patients receiving PAxIABP therapy can be safely mobilized. Nursing care protocols were developed to safely take care of this patient population. PAxIABP can be utilized for other procedures requiring long IABP therapy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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