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Heart working at 10% what does that do to organs?
sugarpinejaci posted:
My brother is 68 - had a double bypass about 25 years ago and a quadruple bypass about 18 years ago. Currently has severe diabetes, weighs over 350 lb, smoked for 40 years, heavy drinker, no exercise, and bad diet. Last week he went into the hospital with CHF, diabetes out of control, and with an 02 level of 70%. Angiogram shows nearly complete blockage in one vessel and reduced clearance in others. His heart function was about 10%. Yesterday they did put in a pacemaker hoping it will help bring his heart function up to 15%.

What happens to kidneys, brain, and other organs if his heart cannot pump the necessary blood? Can drugs help compensate? My guess is that he will have reduced kidney function and start experiencing some diminished mental capacity, but is that likely or I am overstating? He is 500 miles away from me and I haven't been able to talk to a doctor or nurse and the family members there haven't been able to get answers for me. My brother says they are going to release him in a couple days and he will go to therapy and/or assisted living for awhile. Personally, I can't see him ever going back home (lives in 2-story house and wife is 84 and has no feeling below the waist after back surgery a year ago so has a person come in every day to help her.)
I appreciate any insight.
cardiostarusa1 responded:

"His heart function was about 10%."

The % factor

Understanding Your Ejection Fraction

Silent Effects of Congestive Heart Failure

Thus, heart failure can wreak havoc on many organs, not just the heart, both before and after diagnosis....

"Can drugs help compensate?"

In many cases yes, but of course, this on an individualized case-by-case-basis.

Best of luck to your brother.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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