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Brain Damage after a Heart Attack
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Brain Damage after a Heart Attack

My mother suffered a heart attack on 17 May 08......  She was in the emergency room in a small town hospital when they had to "shock" her back to life and then she was flight for life to Rapid City, South Dakota.  My question is how could she be responsive and following commands AFTER she arrived in Rapid and AFTER the stint was put in, but 24 hours later she is unresponsive.  The neuroligist took an eeg (?) yesterday the 21st and told us this morning that she either had a series of mini strokes or lack of oxygen to the brain that caused damage......  Another test is scheduled for Tuesday the 27th for further information, however if that test didn't show any improvement then basically we should look into long term health care??  I don't get how she was following commands after all of the entire ordeal and then bam she was incoherrent....  Please help me understand!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there.

I believe that the best person to explain these things to you will be her attending physicians, cardiologist and neurologist, however here are some of my theories.  A heart attack that would usually require a shock to be resuscitated means that it is indeed very severe and has exposed the patient to low or no blood pressure for quite a long time.  This would starve the brain of oxygen and blood supply.  Restoration of the heart pump and blood pressure can result in recovery of the brain and its functions (became responsive again), however, due to the hypoxic exposure, there could have already been damage incurred that can make the condition deteriorate quickly.  Also, patients with heart disease are also prone to have strokes and I agree with the neurologist that this may have happened.  

I hope your mother can get well soon and recover fully.  Regards and God bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess my biggest question is how she can be following commands after coming back from caph(?) and in her room in the ICU, but then lose all functions?  She hasn't had any heart problems before and going on day 6 of not responding to commands........  She does however open her eyes when you say her name or talk to her, but there isn't anyone home when you look into her eyes.  Thanks for any ideas and help.
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Avatar_f_tn
My brother suffered a heart attack on 4/7/11 and is unconsicous and on a ventilator.  The cardiologist said he is on the machine to give his body time to rest and heal.  A stint was put in that same day to because he had a 90% blockage in the main artery.  Yesterday, 4/9/11, I was in my brother's room (ICU) when the neurologist came in and was doing a few test on him for stimulation, commands, etc.  He said that there had been brain damage and the EEG showed that there was slow brain activity.

My question is, normally how long can a person be kept on a ventilator and if removed how long can a person live after that if a trec is not inserted?  I hope this makes sense, because right now, I am trying to make sense of it all!!  I am afraid that we may not be asking the right questions to the doctor and should we get a second opinion before any decisions are made?

Thank you.
Esther
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Avatar_f_tn
My girlfriend went into a coma 1 month ago, mort likely heart attack. Non responsive for 3 weeks, but now sits up still on a traeg. but wants to move. Never give up therapy works wonders.It at times is going to be a long progress.No one knows what damage is done to the brain. Its like teaching a new born all over again. God bless you
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