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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11309
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My dad came out of open heart surgery over two days ago and

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My dad came out of open heart surgery over two days ago and has not woken up since. He will open his eyes if you speak to him but will not respond. He will lift his hands up off the bed slightly to let you know he hears you. He is 62 years old and has never been a smoker, doesn't drink alcohol or do any type of drug other than indocin & Motron for gout. His kidneys are not functioning great. They gave him lacix that is helping his kidney function however that has been several hours ago and there has only been a slight change in his condition. A ct scan was done and no problems were identified. All we know at this point is that the problem is either the medication or possible brain damage due to medications or lack of blood flow. They have also given him an antibiotic to treat for a possible infection. Is it possible that he could have been overdosed with some type of pain meds that could have resulted in this condition. I have heard that there are certain drugs that can result in possible brain damage? What else should the doctor be looking at other than kidney function or infection?????
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today. Is your father still in the ICU?

Dr. Rick :

I do not believe that your fathers doctors would overlook a drug or treatment that would be contributing to his lack of responding at the moment. As far as looking at more then just his kidneys, of course they should be looking at other issues. As you already stated, they have looked at his brain with a CT scan already and I am sure that they are closely monitoring all his other body functions.

Dr. Rick :

It has not been that long since your father underwent major surgery. Give things time. It sounds like he is in excellent hands and everything that can be done is being done for him.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is the term pump head a potential concern? He was in surgery for approximately 6 hours which means he was on the bypass machine for a considerable amount of time. Could he have possible brain damage due to the lack of oxygen? If so, does this type of brain damage typically recover? His blood pressure is normal, his heart rate is normal at approx 75 bpm, his creatinine level is at 1.7. His heart appears to be ok and his kidneys appear to be working now as he is passing urine now with the help of medication. He has been given no pain meds in 24 hours now and shows no signs of being in pain. They did put him back in the icu this morning and he is still there. He was running a fever of 101 earlier and they gave him tylenol which did help in dropping the fever. The major problem is that he can't speak, doesn't appear to recognize anyone. He will open his eyes if you speak to him but will not give any indication that he knows who you are.
There was one doctor covering 4 ICUs's this morning who made a statement that he had only been watching him within the last hour at 4:00 in the afternoon and my dad had been back to the ICU at 9:00 in the morning. Today being a Sunday, the dr on call showed up first thing in the morning, sent him to the icu and was gone the rest of the day. The dr that performed the surgery is on vacation. There was basically no doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with him all day. His conditon appears to have gotton worse. He was atleast trying to speak the morning after the surgery. He should have been walking on day 2 and instead he appears to be brain dead. Should brain damage be a concern and how do we diagnose. How long does it take to figure out if this is due to a stroke? Could the lack of oxygen to his brain have resulted in a stroke? The ct scan of his brain today was normal. Would it have been smart to have done a triple bypass instead of a quadruple bypass to reduce the time he was on the bypass machine?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Pump head probably just means the pressure at which the blood is being moved through the heart/lung machine.
I can see that you are very concerned about what is going on and all of the questions you are asking are very good ones. Could he have brain damage? Of course his lab values, urine output, heart rate, temperature are all important issues. Having never met your dad, not knowing what went on the operating room, not having access to all of his lab tests and imaging results the answers that I can give you to these very specific --and important -- questions will, by the vary nature of "chatting" on the internet, be general in nature.
You should write down all these questions, just like you have done for me, grab your fathers doctor, sit him down and don't let him up until your questions are answered.
I can assure you that even though it seems like the doctor are coming and going, the surgeon is on vacation and one doc is covering 4 ICUs that the doctors, with the help of all the nurses etc, have their thumb on the pulse of what is going on with your dad. This is not the first time that a bypass patient has had postop problems like what your father is going through. They have seen it before, treated it before and will do everything in their power to assure you dad comes out of this is the best shape possible.
Don't try to second guess if the surgery should have been a triple or a quadruple bypass, or if he had gone to another hospital or if he had the surgery on a Tuesday instead of a Monday.....We can't change the past and the future is unknown.....
I understand and feel your pain and concern. But, at this point, the best thing you can do is try to relax, let the medical staff do what they do best, ***** ***** person you trust and love, hold them close and throw positive thoughts and vibes toward your dad.
Does this make sense?
I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the ACCEPT button for this encounter. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.
I look forward to your next report how you dad is sitting up and complaining about the ugly nurses :-)
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
I was just thinking about your Dad and wondering how he was doing. Is he awake now?