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Heart failure

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:45 PM
  • 2 Replies

I wanted to post this where it would get a lot of views. My husbands grandfather was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last year. He was in the hospital for a little while while they got his body to stop retaining so much water. He was given a bunch of prescriptions, but he had to get them filled at the VA. For some reason or another, the VA took over a month to send them to him. At that point he was living in another state than my MIL and had no one to take care of him. He drove down to live with my MIL about a month or so later. By the time he got there he could barely get out of the car, so she took him straight to the hospital. This was in October. Again he was in the hospital for a little while.

The heart doctor there told him he needed a pace maker or he would die within months. At that point his heart was functioning at about 25%. If he got the pace maker the doctor said he'd have about a year or so left. He had to wait until the pace maker was approved by the VA though.They finally approved it, but didn't schedule the surgery until the beginning of January. He went in for the surgery, and before hand they had to run tests. After the tests they informed him he couldn't have the surgery, and said that his kidneys were failing and his heart was only functioning at about 9%. They said a pace maker wouldn't do anything for him. They basically sent him home to die and said there wasn't anything they could do for him..

Now here's my thing, according to my MIL he seems fine, he seems no worse than he did at the beginning of this. He can walk around, go to the store etc.. I'm having trouble finding anything on google, I'm not sure how to word it to find exactly what I'm looking for. How could he go about walking around, and basically living a normal life (for his age) with his heart only functioning at 9%? I don't think it could get much lower without him being dead. It seems to me that at that point it would be a struggle for him just to breathe? Maybe I'm wrong, I'm not a doctor. I just think he should get a second opinion, maybe he CAN have the surgery and maybe it would extend his life and his quality of life. But, I don't know anything about these things. I'm just guessing. Does anybody know about heart failure and heart efficiency? 

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:45 PM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:57 PM
Doctors often order a number of tests when exploring a possible diagnosis of heart failure. The most important of these test is the echocardiogram, or "echo", which tells a person what their ejection fraction (EF) is. The ejection fraction is a measurement of how well the heart is pumping. People with a healthy heart have an EF of about 60 percent, while people with heart failure have an EF of 40 percent or less.



It sounds like the likelihood of him surviving the surgery wasn't very good. So they decided that a few good months was a better option.
tinkerxbell
by Danger Will Robinson on Jan. 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Right, but for your average person how well can they actually function with only 9% EF?

Quoting Anonymous:

Doctors often order a number of tests when exploring a possible diagnosis of heart failure. The most important of these test is the echocardiogram, or "echo", which tells a person what their ejection fraction (EF) is. The ejection fraction is a measurement of how well the heart is pumping. People with a healthy heart have an EF of about 60 percent, while people with heart failure have an EF of 40 percent or less.



It sounds like the likelihood of him surviving the surgery wasn't very good. So they decided that a few good months was a better option.


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