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77 year old with Congestive Heart Failure and Pneumonia
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77 year old with Congestive Heart Failure and Pneumonia

A few weeks ago my father, whom is 77 years old, was complaining of not sleeping well, and coughing with sinus drainage. It got so bad he suggested that I take him to the hospital a few days last, which is obvious not like him.

The diagnosed him with pneumonia and sent him home since there were so many sick people at the hospital, and the doc didn't want him to become sicker.

We went back to the DR a few days later and the doctor said he was getting better, and that he just needs to continue to take the antibiotics etc. 4 days later my father complains again and I take him back to the ER, to find out he has Congestive Heart Failure with a ton of fluid in his chest around his lungs/heart.

The Doc did do a ultrasound on his heart and it came back that he has a very weak heart. They wanna to continue to give him meds, and see if they can eliminate the fluids.

What are we looking at here? Is there anything else we can do, what is the life expectancy? He really looks like he is in really bad shape.
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367994_tn?1304957193
I had the same condition a little more than 6 years ago.  The problem results from a heart that does not have the strength to pump into circulation the amount received from the lungs AND BLOOD BACKS UP INTO THE LUNGS AND FLUIDS LEAK INTO THE LUNG TISSUES.  This causes a dry cough at night, especially when lying down and hyperventilation.

I was in emergency and ICU for several days.  Fluids were removed from the lungs and the oxygen level had to be brought up to normal.  My heart was enlarged and I have/had mitral valve regurgitation.  Medication has reduced the heart to nomal size which had a positive effect on the heart's pumping strength.  Currently my heart is normal size and pumping strength is normal.

Life expectency depends on the underlying cause. I can tell you, I didn't believe I had more than 6 months, and the doctor didn't speak English very well, and he did not provide any support or encouraging words. However,  I didn't have pneumonia, just congested heart failure.  It is possible your father's doctor did an incorrect dx for pneumonia when the issue was pulmonary edema from heart failure.

Thanks for sharing your father's medical problem and if there are any further questions you are welcome to respond.  take care.



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Avatar_n_tn
thanks i appreciate you sharing. Well we just learned that his ejection fraction is way less than 20%. I dont know what to think. It doesnt look good.
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367994_tn?1304957193
My EF ranged from 13% to 29% while under emergency care.  Ejection fraction below 29% is medically considered heart failure range an indication the heart isn't able to pump enough oxygenated blood out compared to the input from the lungs and congested heart failure occurs.  

Your father has concomitant health issues that may slow recovery, but with the proper treatment and care he should have many years going forward.

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