An increasing burden of disease: Emergency department visits among patients with ventricular assist devices from 2010 to 2017

Jonathan B. Edelson, Jonathan J. Edwards, Hannah Katcoff, Antara Mondal, Nosheen Reza, Thomas C. Hanff, Heather Griffis, Jeremy A. Mazurek, Joyce Wald, Anjali T. Owens, Danielle S. Burstein, Pavan Atluri, Matthew J. O’connor, Lee R. Goldberg, Payman Zamani, Peter W. Groeneveld, Joseph W. Rossano, Kimberly Y. Lin, Edo Y. Birati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: With a growing population of patients supported by ventricular assist devices (VADs) and the improvement in survival of this patient population, understanding the healthcare system burden is critical to improving outcomes. Thus, we sought to examine national estimates of VAD-related emergency department (ED) visits and characterize their demographic, clinical, and outcomes profile. Additionally, we tested the hypotheses that resource use increased and mortality improved over time. METHODS AND RESULTS: This retrospective database analysis uses encounter-level data from the 2010 to 2017 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. The primary outcome was mortality. From 2010 to 2017, >880 million ED visits were evalu-ated, with 44 042 VAD-related ED visits identified. The annual mean visits were 5505 (SD 4258), but increased 16-fold from 2010 to 2017 (824 versus 13 155). VAD-related ED visits frequently resulted in admission (72%) and/or death (3.0%). Median inflation-adjusted charges were $25 679 (interquartile range, $7450, $63 119) per encounter. The most common primary diag-noses were cardiac (22%), and almost 30% of encounters were because of bleeding, stroke, or device complications. From 2010 to 2017, admission and mortality decreased from 82% to 71% and 3.4% to 2.4%, respectively (P for trends <0.001, both). CONCLUSIONS: We present the first study using national-level data to characterize the growing ED resource use and financial burden of patients supported by VAD. During the past decade, admission and mortality rates decreased but remain substan-tial; in 2017 ≈1 in every 40 VAD ED encounters resulted in death, making it critical that clinical decision–making be optimized for patients with VAD to maximize good outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018035
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2021

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© 2021 The Authors.


  • Emergency
  • Mortality
  • Ventricular assist device


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