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Emergency biventricular assist device implantation for acute cardiopulmonary failure in a patient with COVID-19
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  • Nnamdi Nwaejike,
  • Timothy Strang,
  • Miguel Garcia,
  • Michael Charlesworth,
  • Steven Shaw,
  • James Barnard
Nnamdi Nwaejike
Wythenshawe Hospital
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Timothy Strang
Wythenshawe Hospital
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Miguel Garcia
Wythenshawe Hospital
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Michael Charlesworth
Wythenshawe Hospital
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Steven Shaw
Wythenshawe Hospital
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James Barnard
Wythenshawe Hospital
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Abstract

Severe COVID-19 is a multisystem inflammatory disorder and knowledge and experience with severe acute respiratory failure in infected patients has grown considerably since reports of the first few cases. Little is known about the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the heart, and there has been a suggestion from published literature that fulminant cardiac failure with or without respiratory failure may occur several weeks following infection. A young man presented after a recent viral illness. He was found to be in severe cardiogenic shock and was implanted with an emergency biventricular assist device, which also incorporated an extracorporeal membrane oxygenator. He stabilised soon thereafter and despite an intracerebral haemorrhage, which resolved, and bleeding into the trachea following percutaneous tracheostomy, he survived to explant and was successfully stepped down to a rehabilitation unit on postoperative day 50. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies when the test became available on postoperative day 33. We envisage there will be many more such presentations of acute COVID-19-associated cardiogenic shock and we recommend clinicians consider this diagnosis when presented with an acutely unwell patient with an unclear diagnosis, following a viral illness. These patients should be discussed as early as possible with a transplant/mechanical circulatory support team.