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What is the life expectancy of a patient with weak heart?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5767 Questions
My 66 year old aunt has a weak heart. She suffered several heart attacks. Her surgeries have been performed a bigger hospitals such as MUSC in XXXXXXX SC. Now she is in the hospital with a kidney stone. Her bodily functions began to shut down. She was flat line a few times. The doctors explained that they are unable to perform surgery due her weak heart. She requires a ventilation machine to breath. Brain activity is reported normal, although she does not speak. She can hear, feel pain and cry. Her eyes open and close. She "appears' to be in a lot of pain. She is in the ICU and we are hoping for a recovery, but now she is requiring skin drafting for bedsores. The toxins from the kidney problems are supposed to be clear now. Can she live on a ventilation machine with a weak heart for long time? How long? Can she really recover? Doctors have not been saying much just they are going to do a skin treatment removal for bed sores.
Posted Sun, 31 Aug 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Detailed below.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the query.

There is no simple answer for your question. No one is able to tell if she will recover or not. All is up to her body. She may recover even if her heart is weak (hard to tell not knowing how weak). And she can live with mechanical ventilation until she will be strong enough to breath by her self. This is possible.
However it is also possible that her heart insufficiency wont let her to get back from ICU.
As they are planning skin grafts, it indicates that there is a chance. Otherwise they would not do that.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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