Friday, April 27, 2007

Last Night's Update on Jan

Thank you for your prayers today. Ever since the pacemaker and ICD device were inserted, my dad’s heart rate has remained steady. Overall, he has been doing very well today. There was a concern that his blood oxygen levels were too low with only the tube in his nose, so they have gone back to giving him a face mask that gives him 70% oxygen (normal air is only about 30%). They are performing a test this evening to determine why his lungs are not performing well. The most likely reason is that there is fluid in the lungs that has built up as a result of the heart not working well over the last couple of days. A less likely reason that they will be checking for is a blood clot he could have in his lungs. In either case, they will treat the problem with the appropriate medication. It didn’t seem like a crisis situation.

As the designated family email correspondent, I was thankful to be at the hospital for the afternoon meeting with the cardiologist. He explained the results of the echocardiogram that was performed yesterday as well as any other questions we had. Basically, all the echocardiogram told us was that the damage done to the heart during the attack was moderate. When he has another one in a couple of weeks, they will be able to determine how much the heart has healed itself. Some of the arteries have 50% blockage which is actually not a matter of concern. Bypass surgery is not usually considered until blockage is at 70% or more. The cardiologist also said that the more time that passes since the heart attack, the less likely he is to have a crisis situation like happened this morning.

My dad was able to talk to us a little and said that he enjoyed having everybody around him. He seemed comfortable except for some pain at the sight of the incision where the pacemaker was inserted. Pray that he can get good rest tonight. I hope that is helpful.

P.S. Medical corrections: 1) In previous emails, I incorrectly referred to his test yesterday morning as an electrocardiogram (EKG). He has actually had several of those over the last few days, but the test that he had yesterday morning was actually an echocardiogram, or high-tech ultrasound.

2) My mom originally thought that the device inserted this morning was an ICU. Well, that actually stands for intensive care unit (ha, ha, ha). The real device was an ICD which stands for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (now try saying that 5 times really fast).

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