Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
10% heart function
avatar
leejames posted:
My father in law had a previous heart attack about 10 yrs ago that damaged his heart. Now at 77 he has difficulty breathing and has swolen legs. The Dr. yeasterday said he is not a canditate for surgery or agioplasty due to his damaged heart which is now functioning at only 10%. My question is this, and I realise its impossible to accuretly predict but at 10% function what knind of life expepectency might he have. Days? Weeks? Months?
Reply
 
avatar
James_Beckerman_MD responded:
I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law. But you are absolutely right - it is impossible to predict, and there are other factors to consider, such as the presence of valve disease, diabetes, or kidney problems that may increase risk as well. I have patients who have lived for years with similar heart function, but others that haven't fared as well. I know that this is a frustrating response, but one thing I've learned in medical practice is that risk is something hard to desribe in percentages for any one individual. Because for a particular person, things either tend to go well, or they don't. The car gets you there safely, or it crashes - it doesn't crash 0.00001% - it's either zero or 100%. For that reason, I try to help people maximize their quality of life and take steps to improve their risk profile when possible - and I try to redirect from questions of life expectancy that are very difficult to answer reliably. Take care.
 
avatar
CardiostarUSA1 responded:
Hi Leejames:

Though life expectancy/overall prognosis can not be properly addressed via the Internet, as everyone is unique, with each and every health/medical situation/case being different, in general-only here, thanks to modern medicine, marvelous medical technology, and the doctors who know how to use it, many patients with heart failure/congestive heart failure, with or without comorbidities, are living/surviving much longer than ever before.

Some individuals who have a really low (severe) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF, % of blood pumped out), feel fine and function well, while others do not. As applicable, in some cases, along with a doctor recommended/authorized exercise regimen (unless contraindicated), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) can be increased, sometimes substantially, by customizing/tweaking prescription drug-therapy (e.g., Coreg, which showed, back in its clinical trial days, that it could boost LVEF in some individuals) and supplemental (complimentary, e.g., Coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, or integrative medicine) therapy, as deemed applicable.

The very best of luck to your father-in-law.

Take care,

CardioStar☆

WebMD community member (8/99)

-

-

☑Be well-informed

Some will ask on the Internet, what should I expect, what can be expected [for me, or someone else, e.g., immediate family member, relative, close friend>, life expectancy.

☞The Prognosis

This is the likely outcome of one's condition and treatment, that is, the chances of getting better and how long one is likely to live.

☞The Statistics

These are averages based on large numbers of individuals which can not predict exactly what will happen. It's surprising that many out there do not realize or understand that no two individuals are exactly alike thus the response to treatment also varies (sometimes greatly) from one individual to another.

One should feel free to ask his/her doctor (or his/her loved one's doctor, as applicable) about the prognosis, however, often, not even one's doctor can really tell for sure what will happen.

One may hear his/her doctor use the term_ year survival [rate> but this does not mean/stipulate one will only live _ years. It typically relates to data gleaned from research studies and in various medical literature involving the proportion of those who were still alive _ years post-diagnosis, initial treatment and subsequent treatment(s) Doctors can follow what happens to patients for any number of years after treatment and in any research study.

-

Cleveland Clinic

Understanding Your Ejection fraction

my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/heartfailure/ejectionfraction.aspx

Your Total Health

Ejection fraction

yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/ejection-fraction.html

-

HFSA

Heart Failure Stages

www.abouthf.org/questions_stages.htm

WebMD/Cleveland Clinic

Heart Failure: Living with Heart Failure

www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/living-with-heart-failure

American Heart Association

Forum: Heart Failure

my.americanheart.org/jiveforum/forum.jspa?forumID=16

-

OptumHealth

Making the Most of Your Doctor Visits

14 Tips to Make Your Doctor Visits a Success

www.myoptumhealth.com/portal/Health+Hubs/item/Making+the+Most+of+Your+Doctor+Visits

HealingWell

You and Your Doctor: It Takes Two to Tango

Your medical care is a TWO WAY street....

www.healingwell.com/library/health/article.asp?author=salvucci&id=5

Quote

"Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

- Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society

.

☛WebMD/WebMD message boards does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
 
avatar
Caregiverof6 replied to CardiostarUSA1's response:
I'm looking around for similar answers as op. my father is 65 had several heart attacks never stayed on his meds and had a 4 way bipass. He's been running on about 20% up until wed (8-28-12). The cardio doc put him on two blood pressure/beta blocker meds. (even though his bp is in the 90s/50s). First time his primary care put him on linsolpro(sp??) 20 mg. she refused to see him said his symptoms were due to fluid build up (even though his urine output was way below normal and he was on 20mg LASIK as much as needed through out the day) so she prescribed tow more water pills. He took them like she said. 3rd day I took him into ER because he became so drained he would "pass out into sleep". ER bp read 40/35 when he walked in (yes walked in). They said his kidneys were starting into failure because they were so dried out. Turns out it was the bp meds. She still to this day will not admit that she screwed up on the dosage. (proper dosage for his ef function was 2.5 mg NOT 20 mg). Well Monday this week cardio put him on bp/beta blockers low dosage to help his heart rebuild vessels n arteries. Wed he took first dose at 8 am. By 1100 he was having a heart attack. ER said it was because of e meds again. They r now saying his heart is so bad it's rejecting the meds. He spent two days in under observation and fluids to flush meds out. He is now at 10% ef. Echocardiogram shows one side (forgive me I forgot which sides) is barely working while the other is working hugely. I think they said the side working good "powered the lungs n brain while the other side which is very weak powers the other parts. He's struggling to even eat n loosing energy. However his recovery time is quick. He's still doing his usual but gets winded fast. Docs at the hospital are saying he has less then 6 months to live with the next two months being his best after that it's a fast downhill slide. The day before his cardiologist said on these meds it would bring him up to 40% in about two months. With a life span of 10-20 more years!! So you can image how fast I broke down and anxiety attack hit when I went from having daddy another 10 years to less then 6 months. He's done research and says there's a procedure where you get 2% hydrogen peroxide iv in. However he hasn't see cardiologist yet to confirm and see if he will do treatment. My sister (an obgyn) says there are more options medication wise they just have to "play with it". His opinion is that the last time they "played with it" he lost 10% of his ef function! So I don't blame him. I'm just wonder after this long novel I just wrote if any one has any facts web links or info on this hydrogen peroxide thing. He's a fighter. The day after his 4-way bipass he was up walking the halls. They sent him home the3rd day because he was recovering so fast. Here at this hosptial he's popularly know as the "walker". He refuses to go just yet. I know will power can make a difference. He was told 2 years ago that he wouldn't make it bast 6 months. Can anyone reccomended a cardiologist in the Kansas city, Kansas or Kansas city mo areas? Please fell free to email me! supermom31700@aol.com.
 
avatar
billh99 replied to Caregiverof6's response:
Can anyone reccomended a cardiologist in the Kansas city, Kansas or Kansas city mo areas?

I can't recommend anyone specific, but you have great resources in St Lukes Heart Institute and KU Med Center.

A quick google did not show any legitimate sources that mentioned hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for heartfailure.

There where some scholars articles on cell biology and NO where hydrogen peroxide was evolved in the biology, but that is far from trying to use it as a treatment.


Featuring Experts

James Beckerman, MD, FACC, is a cardiologist at the Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic in Portland, OR. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Col...More

Helpful Tips

Nix Grapefruit & Statin DrugsExpert
Grapefruit & statin drugs can be a bad combination. Unlike other citrus fruits, grapefruit contains substances that disable certain ... More
Was this Helpful?
13 of 15 found this helpful

Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems to the
Food and Drug Administration

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center