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Had a massive stroke, brain is swelling and lungs filled with fluid. Life expectancy?

My Father Had A Massive Stroke , Hes 86. He Was Fighting A Mesh Infection For 3 Months From Surgery. He Was Left With An Open Wound That Was Very Large. He Has A PaceMaker. He Is Breathing On His Own With A High Fever . His Eyes Are Fixed Straight Ahead With Closed Lids. They Wont Do AnyThing But Let Him Die. Its Been 24hrs I Cant Take It. How Long Can He Live Like This? When You Tickle His Feet They Jump Just Reflex They Say. I Feel So Bad For Him I Cant Stay With Him 24hrs A Day At The Hospital. The Dr Said His Brain Is Swelling And Lungs Filling With Fluid.
Asked On : Sat, 9 Feb 2013
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Nephrologist 's  Response
Thank you for using health care Magic.

I am sorry for the current circumstances surrounding your question. Based on what you have described in your question, I would be inclined to say that he is in an end-of-life situation. His pre-existing medical conditions including the mesh and wound infection, cardiac disease and advanced age make him a poor candidate for aggressive neurosurgical intervention. His pre-stroke mortality was high to begin with, now compounded by the stroke. Under appropriate circumstances and in the setting of an appropriate patient, neurosurgical intervention with an external ventricular drain can be attempted. In an 86-year-old male with his comorbidities, I would presume a neurosurgeon would find his operative risk to exceed potential benefits. Furthermore a procedure to relieve his "brain swelling" i.e. cerebral edema may afford him some time however a CVA of that magnitude would likely result in loss of his long term facultative capacity i.e. if Dad were to survive, he would likely be bed bound with limited quality of life. It is difficult to estimate his anticipated survival however the timeframe is likely to be short. I would suggest you speak with the intensivist and neurologist and seek their guidance. A palliative approach may be what you seek and all he would have to do is ask your physician to facilitate.

take care
Answered: Sat, 9 Feb 2013
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