Many people with heart failure also have a problem with the way their heart beats (arrhythmia). Many patients with a low ejection fraction—when the amount of blood the heart is able to squeeze out is much less than what it normally would be—may benefit from small electric devices implanted in the chest, just under the skin, with wires going to the heart.
These devices can be useful to prevent sudden cardiac death or help the heart beat in a more coordinated manner in select patients.
Studies show that these devices can help improve quality of life and may prolong survival in properly selected patients.
For very late stages of the disease, a person may need a left ventricular assist device—a mechanical heart pump—to help the heart move blood through the body. This is often used in individuals who are awaiting a heart transplant.