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mikeandbarbSeptember 14, 2008

It's been awhile posting but now I'm in need of help with what happened to my dad at the hospital.

I don't know if you can help me out or not but I have a health issue question about my dad.

Last Thursday dad had to go to the hospital with congestive heart failure. This is the first time he's had this problem. He seemed to be doing just fine Saturday when he was dismissed but once I got him home he fell twice. He said that everything went black then he got dizzy and fell. I wasn't there with him at the time it happened casue I'd gone to the drug store to get his medication and he was on the kitchen floor when I got back. I had to call 911 to get him back to the hospital and when I was finally able to get back into his room the doctor was telling him that they had taken to much fluid.

They have done a cat scan on his brain but I don't know yet what the reading was.

I called today to see if he'd be going home today but the nurse said he wouldn't be going home anytime soon.

My question is: Did they harm dad to the point of him not getting better or worse will he die from this? What damage was done due to this? I fully understand if this is a question you can't answer and respect it but am hopeful that you might shed some light on the problem.

Thank you, Barb

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I think you may have misunderstood something that the doctor said. You should really talk to him and see if he will give you a more understandable viewpoint of what happened. It's hard to second-guess what will or will not happen to a patient as everyone is different and will react to the same treatment differently.

Also, while most nurses are excellent and intelligent, some should be in another profession. So take what ever a nurse tells you with a grain of salt. I have worked in hospitals and have been a patient more times than I care to say, and I will tell you that some "nurses" should not be allowed to open their mouths. If they ever learned anything while they were being trained, they seem to have forgotten it. AND that includes telling the families things that they shouldn't.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Likely they geve him a diuretic for the congestive heart failure and his electrolites got out of balance and that's what made him dizzy.
It sure could be something else, but what I said is a likely scenario.....and I agree with agnes....that nurse should have shut her trap!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 11:03AM
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One thing to be aware of is that some of the side effects of heart medications can be serious in themselves. Make sure you are conversant with what prescriptions he is taking and any side effects.

There is nothing that is going to reverse his condition but care and attention can alleviate the worst of it, extending his life a bit and improving the quality of it.

I googled "congestive heart failure" and found this website, it seems a fairly comprehensive summary. Hope this helps, and good luck to you and your dad.

BTW, you did get the durable healthcare power of attorney on your dad, didn't you? Otherwise you can run into HIPAA problems trying to get info from your dad's medical providers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Congestive heart failure-symptoms and prognosis

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 12:29PM
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My mom is in congestive heart failure, fluid builds up on the lungs and around the heart, potassium levels get out of balance along with other levels. Last time she was in the hospital, for congestive heart failure, they gave her all the IV's of important stuff and also diurectics (water pills) to relieve the fluid. They will also run numereous test to see if there is anything else going on, like kidney failure and so on. They do these test just to be sure it is nothing else!
Tell the staff to put a note on your dad's chart for the doctor to call you if you cannot hook up with him at the hospital, most of them will.
They will also be checking to make sure he did not break anything, or dislocate anything in the fall.
Calm down, ask questions and research so you are informed.
Prayers coming your way!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 2:41PM
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As others have said, fluid buildup is a real problem with congestive heart failure. Diuretics are given to alleviate the excess fluid. There is a possibility that the diuretics left his system out of whack, so to speak, and that caused his dizziness. There's also the possibility that any new medications he was given also left him weak & dizzy. Sometimes it can take a month or so for your body to adjust to new medications.

I know when my husband came back from his stint in ICU, after being first diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he was dizzy, slurring his words, and could barley walk. It took him a while to adjust to all the new medications and now he's his old self (not sure if that's good or bad).

Obviously, with the falls, the doctors are running more tests to see if there are other problems. That's a good thing. As others have said, talk with the doctor and find out everything you can about his condition. There's no cure for congestive heart failure, but it can be managed.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Thank you all for responding. It just sounded really scary when the Doctor said they took to much fluid.
I just came back from the hospital and they did blood test and it's coming back that he has a blood clot. Not a high reading? but enough that they took him to do a CT. I did google when we found out he had congestive heart failure and read that when the fluids are built up that your body may not getting the medication right and he was very low on potassium. Which he's had trouble with low potassium and takes a pill everyday for it. So adding all these thing's together has had an affect on him.
He's not out of the woods yet but their doing everything they know to do.
He lives alone and I don't like the idea of him going back home till he's got the medicine for congestive heart worked out. I'm praying that they will place him in an assisted living temporarily.

Thank you for the prayers.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 4:04PM
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Is your dad's mind pretty sharp, and is he conscientious about taking care of himself? My MIL has congestive heart failure. She gets dizzy and falls a lot.

She was living alone, but not monitoring her condition as she should have, and probably not taking her meds properly. After the second big hospitalization, the doc insisted she no longer live alone and we moved her into assisted living. Now we have the comfort of knowing that her meds are being monitored for her, and there are people around to help her when she falls.

Even if your dad bounces back and goes home, you should probably start checking out assisted living places, just so you don't have to scramble to find a decent one if you need it in a hurry. I hope things get better soon for you and your dad.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 12:14AM
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