A left ventricular assist device (LVAD), is a medical device that can be used to replace the function of a failing heart. It provides support to the damaged left ventricle (one of the four chambers of the heart) and helps pump blood to the rest of the body.
An LVAD is implanted under a patient’s skin. A control unit and battery pack are worn outside the body and connect to the LVAD through a hole in the skin.
In Ontario, LVADs are publicly funded for patients who are waiting to have a heart transplant, and are currently not publicly funded for patients who are ineligible for a heart transplant.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews LVADs for Destination Therapy
Health Quality Ontario analyzed the effectiveness of LVADs as a destination therapy (long-term, permanent therapy) for patients with end-stage heart failure who are ineligible for heart transplantation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: In 2017/18, the Ministry began providing funding to support Left Ventricular Assist Devices for Destination Therapy at four hospitals.