Background Patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) complicated by acute heart failure or cardiogenic shock have high mortality with conventional management. Objectives This study evaluated outcomes of patients with AMI who received durable ventricular assist devices (VAD). Methods Patients in the INTERMACS (Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support) registry who underwent VAD placement in the setting of AMI were included and compared with patients who received VAD for non-AMI indications. Results VAD were implanted in 502 patients with AMI: 443 left ventricular assist devices; 33 biventricular assist devices; and 26 total artificial hearts. Median age was 58.3 years, and 77.1% were male. At implantation, 66% were INTERMACS profile 1. A higher proportion of AMI than non-AMI patients had pre-operative intra-aortic balloon pumps (57.6% vs. 25.3%; p < 0.01), intubation (58% vs. 8.3%; p < 0.01), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (17.9% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.01), cardiac arrest (33.5% vs. 3.3%, p < 0.01), and higher-acuity INTERMACS profiles. At 1 month post-VAD, 91.8% of AMI patients were alive with ongoing device support, 7.2% had died on device, and 1% had been transplanted. At 1-year post-VAD, 52% of AMI patients were alive with ongoing device support, 25.7% had been transplanted, 1.6% had left VAD explanted for recovery, and 20.7% had died on device. The AMI group had higher unadjusted early phase hazard (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.24; p = 0.04) and reduced late-phase hazard of death (HR: 0.57; p = 0.04) than the non-AMI group did. After accounting for established risk factors, the AMI group no longer had higher early mortality hazard (HR: 0.89; p = 0.30), but it had lower late mortality hazard (HR: 0.55; p = 0.02). Conclusions Patients with AMI who receive VAD have outcomes similar to other VAD populations, despite being more critically ill pre-implantation. VAD therapy is an effective strategy for patients with AMI and acute heart failure or shock in whom medical therapy is failing.