Suicide after ventricular assist device implantation

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2010 Jun;29(6):692-4. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.12.005. Epub 2010 Mar 5.


Depression and anxiety are well documented in patients with end-stage heart failure and correlate with a higher risk of suicide. We report a 69-year-old depressed patient who committed suicide by disconnecting the driveline of his left ventricular assist device almost 3 years after implantation. We provide the medical, psychologic, and psychiatric background of this unique case. This report highlights the importance of pre-implant psychologic screening, the need for regular and long-term psychologic support for this vulnerable patient population, and the need for more qualitative research on patients' views on living with a left ventricular assist device, together with research exploring risk profiles for depression and suicide.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depression / etiology
  • Diabetes Complications / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Complications / psychology
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Suicide*