I am looking for advice about my sick father, and help with understanding what the future holds. 4 weeks ago he had a big heart attack, left ventricular failure, with subsequent pulmonary oedema, with added renal complications. He was immediately given 2 stents for the artery blockages, put on all the appropriate medications, oxygen, etc, and monitored closely. A balloon pump was introduced after about a week, for 4 days, which made him temporarily feel better. Then his kidneys started to have problems with the diuretics, so they keep withdrawing them them introducing them again when the oedema get too bad. Basically, we have been going around in circles. Last weekend, they decided he needed dialysis, so moved him to ICU, and ventilated him as he was quite agitated at night etc. So he is now in an induced coma. His ejection fraction is 25%. Until this happened he was a fit, healthy man with no health issues and was on no meds.
I would like straight answers, is he likely to recover from this, and how will he be if he does?
I am terribly sorry to hear about what your father is going through. It sounds like he had a sizeable heart attack and is now struggling with residual heart failure as a result of the injury that the heart sustained (ie thus having some difficulty consistently getting blood to his kidneys, having fluid build up in his lungs, etc).
I will be unable to tell you whether or not your father will recover from this event. However, what I can tell you is that this is a not uncommon scenario and many patients do recover with support and time. I take care of at least 1-2 patients with this type of scenario each week. Usually, because there is nothing "intrinsically" wrong with the lungs, kidneys, etc they will often recover when given support and enough time as long as the heart can be supported sufficiently. How old is your father?
I am sure that your father is being cared for my an excellent team of doctors. My team is in chicago, however, if your father's condition were to exceed the capabilities of his hospital.
Wishing your father a speedy and complete recovery.
Thank you for your reply Dr Rich, that's most heartening to hear that he has a chance of recovering, as long as the heart can be supported. He is 65 years old, and was a fit man before this episode.
The dialysis has pulled off much of the oedema now, and they are reducing the amount of sedation. My worry is what ideas they have for his heart now, they seen to have run out of options, and are going round in circles. The registrar told me it was 50-50 whether he would survive, but i am well aware that sometimes they tell untruths to keep relatives spirits up. He is in hospital in Ireland.
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