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Brain damage, heart damage, broken ribs, dislocated sternum, high WBC count, cancer. Any quality of life?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 4584 Questions
my grandmother had surgery to remove cancer about 50 days ago. She also had other complications and has been in a drug induced coma ever since her first surgery. Recently she suffered cardiac arrest and quit breathing and her heart quit and she stopped breathing. They didn't have anything for 30 minutes but finally got her back. They say she has some brain damage, heart damage, broken ribs, dislocated sturnum, a bad infection (white count at 27), high temp and still has cancer. The rest of the family believes that she can pull out of this because her blood pressure is coming back and they think she will be ok. How much brain damage has been done and do you think she will have any quality of life?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 51 minutes later
Hi there.

Am Sorry to know of your grandmother's condition. May God be by her side.

You have provided with good information and I appreciate it. In order to guide you appropriately, I will need a few more details regarding your problem, so please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible.

What kind of cancer was your grandmother diagnosed of ?

Since when was cancer diagnosed ?

Has the cancer spread to other parts of the body ?

Is she intubated and on ventilator ?

What medication was your grandmother on ?

From provided history it appears that she would have some sort of blood borne cancer. Such cancer spreads to bones and other parts of body and damage other organs as well. Heart damage can also be due to drug induced toxicity.

If brain damage is extensive and she is incapable of spontaneous breathing then less hope of quality of life. In such cases she will need artificial life support for keeping organs alive but she will be unresponsive.

Kindly make decisions after careful understanding of her situation.

She will need your care, support and your prayers.

Kindly do respond to above queries.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


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