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Can a person with aged and low heart rate be on drip to survive?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
My 90 year old mum is in hospital with a very low heart rate. Her blood pressure is still quite good however. So I presume her organs are still getting enough blood to maintain operation. She sleeps a lot. She is frail and cannot eat. She is only having tiny amounts of water. I feel as though she is fading away and unable to stay awake because she is not eating. Should she be on a drip to feed her and get her strength back up. Otherwise of course she will die.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 42 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Low heart rate is also called bradycardia in which the resting heart rate is under 60 beats per minute. Apart from cardiac causes, imbalance of electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses can also cause bradycardia.

In your mother’s case even not taking proper food can be responsible for the same. However consult her cardiologist to rule out any cardiac causes.

I completely agree with you that she needs to be on drip and if she is not eating maybe even a Ryle’s tube feed would also be needed. Only water is not sufficient and she needs to have an intravenous drip as well as a ryle’s tube or nasogastric tube for feeding as well.

Then food can be given as bolus, intermittent feeding and continuous feeding by pump depending on what her healthcare provider prescribes.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing your mother good health.
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