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Last phases of congestive heart failure, fluid build up in abdomen, been breathless. What can minimize discomfort?

Hi My father is suffering the last phases of congestive heart failure - he has severe fluid build up in the abdomen and legs, he is breathless presumably due to fluid in the lungs, his kidneys are not tolerant of diuretics though the doctor has prescribed a stronger type. He already suffers for vascular dementia as a consequence of a heart attack over a year ago now. He is rarely awake and according to my mother constantly muttering. i m concerned about the amount of pain he may be in as it is clear he is not going to recover but would like to think we could minimise the discomfort. Can you advise me.
Asked On : Sun, 20 Jan 2013
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Cardiac Surgeon 's  Response
The terminal stage of a congestive cardiac failure is very annoying for any family member. I understand and sympathize.
The main problem with any CCF is water retention. Water retention in lungs will cause breathlessness and cough. Some patients will respond to diuretics and water retention will be reduced.
Muttering is because of dementia. CCF per se will not cause severe pain for anyone. Yes, discomfort will be there, but not pain.
Answered: Wed, 23 Jan 2013
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