My dad is 74yo with Hx of CAD; 4x CABG (12yrs ago); Atrial Fib (taking warfarin/metoprolol); otherwise very healthy. Over the past year he has had worsening SX of CHF. He was hospitalized July 2010 for this -- had 1.5 L fluid drained from his lungs and blood transfusion to treat RBC (2.8) H/H (8.7/25.9). His BUN/Cr was 59/1.8 on admission.
Within 2 weeks of being discharged he had a 7lb wgt gain and had fluid drain as an outpatient.
He has been taking Lasix and taking classes and following a "CHF diet" watching salt and fluid intake. His weight has remained stable. He still has SOB upon limited exertion and would like to be able to continue his "pre CHF" 3 mile daily walks. this week his RBC 3.9 H/H 10.9/31 BUN/Cr 42/1.5. He has been taking iron and folic acid for 6 weeks.
I am a pharmacist so my parents ask me about their medications and I try to suggest questions they should be asking their physicians.
He was told by the Cleveland Clinic 3 yrs ago he had a leaking heart valve at that time they were going to fix it but instead put stents in his heart. Could the leak valve be a MAJOR contributing factor to the worsening CHF.
My dad has an apt w/his cardiologist this week. I feel he could be more aggressive with treatment (but my dad does complain about peeing all the time when I say 40mg of Lasix isn't very much!!)
My concerns are his still low H/H. Is this "acceptable". Should he ask for a nephrologist consult or is this just something CHF patients have to live with? Is Epogen a viable choice or overkill with the recent cardiac link? He still has edema in his legs and sleeps on the couch to keep his legs elevated. Is this 'typical' progression of CHF? What type of questions should my dad ask and what type of results can be expected. Is it worth pursuing the leaky heart valve again?