In order to qualify for a ventricular assist device, one must have serious problems:
There are also situations in which you might anticipate a VAD might be needed, and would have one on standby:
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UpToDate has a nice chapter on VADs.
EMCrit brandishes the expertise of somebody who works with these things, and I take that seriously.
Additionally, there is an insanely colourful brochure which has device-specific recommendations.
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