Infection Prevention is vital for the health and wellbeing of LVAD patients, and most of the prevention is done through proper dressing change techniques for the driveline site and surrounding area of skin. Your care team has likely already informed you on the importance of proper care of your driveline, but here are some reminders if you or a loved one are worried about the process.
Make sure to maintain your sterile field. Specific procedures differ depending on the supplies in your driveline kit, and often different hospitals and care teams have personalized preferences and supplies. However, regardless of the items in your specific kit, it’s vitally important while changing out dressings to maintain a sterile field.
Be sure to follow all labeled instructions for handling sterile supplies, and after putting on sterile gloves, ensure that you only touch items that are within your sterile field. Always keep both hands within your direct line of sight. Remember to clean from the driveline site outward in order to prevent any contaminants from getting near the wound.
Look out for changes in discharge. If you notice redness, puss, bleeding or other changes in discharge around the site, this could be an early sign of infection. Immediately contact your care team if you notice any changes. Your healthcare provider will have instructions on next steps.
When in doubt, contact your care team. ODI is here if you need a change in your supplies or have questions about the contents of your kits. Your physician might have special instructions on a patient by patient basis, so if you’re confused or worried, it’s always a good idea to double check before moving forward.
It’s important to remember that your care team is here for you. When the unavoidable happens, consult your Account Representative to discuss next steps.