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Ask Macy RN Your Own Question
Macy RN
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 805
Experience:  RN of 19 years.Experienced in ER, Critical Care, Surgery, Nutrition, Peds,OB/Gyn and Hospice.
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Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, edema..infection..Stool

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Hello: My, now 78 year old aunt, has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for nearly 2 years. She has always been in excellent health. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, edema and a low blood count (for which she would receive unit(s) of blood) She also developed nearly constant diaherea, which the doctors say is an infection in her Stool. After 1 year, and seeing her doctor on a regular basis, it was discovered that she had a leaking valve in her heart, and had open Heart surgery. She almost died on the table twice. The surgery failed! Immediately thereafter, the pre-op the same symptoms returned! Her Kidneys have started to shut down several times, but medication corrected that, temporarily. She will start having several good days in a row, then all the problems begin again. She is in the hospital again, with the same problems! Any thoughts on a diagnosis? Thank you. Ralph



Thank you for your question.


When you say that her valve replacement failed do you mean that they were unable to replace the valve ?




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you Macy. In response to your request, the Valve replacement, according to her doctors, was successful. The problem is this: Within a couple of weeks post-op, all the same symptoms reoccurred, including the undetermined reason for the loss of blood, which is being replaced approximately once every 2 - 3 weeks.

At this moment she is at home. After seeing her Specialist this afternoon, because of edema throughout her body, shortness of breath, and severe pain in her Kidney area, (Her Kidney output is scant, at best) the doctor told her to return tomorrow to be catheterized!?!?

I'll await your response. Again, Macy, thank you. Ralph



I worked many years in ICU and at some point she may need dialysis.


I don't understand why her doctor doesn't have her in the hospital right now.


Her prognosis sounds poor.


If her kidneys shut down then her only option is really dialysis. or iv drugs to increase her output.


I have seen patients like this just get worse and worse and practically live in the hospital


Things to think about would be getting a living will for her.

That would mean that no life sustaining meansure would be done if she passed away.


Also getting power of attorney.


If she is so short of breath that she is in distress she should go to the ER.


I would think her diagnosis would be kidney and heart faiolure but her doctor would have to tell you for sure.



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