Infectious complications following left ventricular assist device implantation can carry significant morbidity and mortality. The main tenet of treatment is source control which entails local wound care, intravenous antimicrobial therapy, surgical debridement, and at times, soft tissue flap coverage. The mode of therapy depends on the severity, etiology, and location of infection as well as the clinical status of the patient. We describe a case of a 46 year old male who underwent left ventricular assist device placement complicated by pump thrombosis, recurrent infection, and hardware exposure who was successfully treated with a novel method of staged, soft tissue reconstruction.
Heart-Lung transplant (HLT) is a widely accepted modality for certain patients with advanced and refractory cardiopulmonary disease. Some of these patients are critically ill on the transplant waiting list, and venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) can be used as a bridge to transplantation. Although the experience with ECMO as a bridge to lung transplant is promising, there is limited evidence to use ECMO as a bridge to HLT. Femoral cannulation remains a concern for ambulation given the risk of bleeding and cannula complications despite studies reporting its safety. We present a case of a 56-year-old male with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and severe secondary pulmonary hypertension, who was successfully bridged to HLT with ambulatory femoral VA-ECMO.