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What is the life expectancy at stage 3 of congestive heart failure?

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Posted on Sat, 1 Mar 2014
Question: What is the life expectancy of my 91 year old mother given she is in an extended care facility. She is presently at stage 3 or 4 congestive heart failure, labored and difficulty breathing with minimal exertion (although the oxygen levels are good). She has also been diagnosed with mild dementia. Her history includes triple bypass surgery in 2004, a heart attack in 2008 and in 2012. She has had 2 UTIs in the past year. Often dizzy when standing and uses a walker. A couple of days ago the healthcare attendant felt it necessary to awaken her with a sternum rub. She frequently complains that she doesn't feel well and is very tired.
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Approximately 3-6months! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about what your mother is going through. I understand how difficult it is to watch a loved one battle with these disease conditions. Talking about how long she has to live is a difficult topic but also important to be discussed for various reasons. Considering the information you have provided, mortality is high, ranging from 40% to 95% over a 3- to 6-month period in various series. This means that as few as 5 out of 100 persons with decompensated heart failure would be alive after 6months. I hope this addresses your query fully. Thank you so much for patronizing our services and please do feel free to ask for follow up clarifications and information if need be. I wish her the best of health. Dr. Ditah, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah (13 hours later)
How are the last days or weeks like for a person in this condition? Pain, agony, suffering, etc.
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (17 hours later)
Brief Answer: No one would let pain/agony set in! Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for following up with me. Medicine has greatly improved and we never let persons die in agony or pain. Doctors would do all to maintain her dignity and address any difficult situations going on. We have enough drugs to help manage these. Gone are those days people died in pains or agony. It is simply not accepted these days. No matter the condition, your doctors would work with you and make her feel better. The fact that we cannot treat a conditions doesn't mean the client would be let to go through horror. I wish you well. Dr. Ditah, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6320 Questions

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What is the life expectancy at stage 3 of congestive heart failure?

Brief Answer: Approximately 3-6months! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about what your mother is going through. I understand how difficult it is to watch a loved one battle with these disease conditions. Talking about how long she has to live is a difficult topic but also important to be discussed for various reasons. Considering the information you have provided, mortality is high, ranging from 40% to 95% over a 3- to 6-month period in various series. This means that as few as 5 out of 100 persons with decompensated heart failure would be alive after 6months. I hope this addresses your query fully. Thank you so much for patronizing our services and please do feel free to ask for follow up clarifications and information if need be. I wish her the best of health. Dr. Ditah, MD.