Our most recent paper, Chest compressions may be safe in arresting patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), has just been accepted for publication in the journal Resuscitation. This paper is the largest known review of patients with LVAD's who arrest. Our best evidence suggests that it is safe to do chest compressions in LVAD patients. Chest compressions don't appear to dislodge the VAD. Besides, the patient is going to die anyway!
By the way, the most common cause of arrest in these patients is ACCIDENTAL DISCONNECTION of both battery supplies! So if you get the call from the radio nurse with an LVAD patient that has arrested: 1. start chest compressions…it appears to be safe and 2. find a power supply or spare batteries!
Here is the abstract: