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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How does someone have a heart attack and die ?

how does someone have a heart attack and die almost 2 weeks later from something else at the hospital? I just lost my dad on may 2 and i m lost, so lost. he had a sudden death heart attack in the store with my mom. they revived him and brought him to the hospital. he was placed on a vent for 3 days, when he woke up he was talking raspy from the tube but had the biggest smile on his face when i walked in the room. he had no other problems. i was able to tell him so many things and i am grateful for that. the next day he was put back on the vent for no stress on his heart, the next morning he had another heart attack. now he has developed pnuemonia. now he is on more meds. the next day they said that his kidneys weren t functioning well he needs perm dyalasis. they also administer a pic line in his groin knowing that it would cause a blood infection. he starts dyalasis and gets sepsis all within a couple of days. my dad was like this for 6 more days until they finally told us that he was having complete organ shut down, he passed away and i blame the hospital. please help me understand.
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Typically if someone has a major heart attack, even after revival, that part of the heart has permanent damage, and depending upon how long he was down, other tissues in his body could be damaged as well. With the hit of a second heart attack so close to the first one, the shock to the heart can be quite severe and most times, not able to bounce back. When the heart is not pumping enough oxygenated blood throughout the body, it starves the rest of the tissues and organs causing them to shut down. Tack pneumonia on top of an already taxed heart, and you get even less oxygen circulating. It sounds to me like the hospital did everything in their power to help your father. I know it is tough, but at least you were able to get a few brief moments with him in the end to tell him how grateful you were and how much you loved him. Many people don't get that opportunity. Again, I'm sorry for your loss, and God be with you and your father. I will keep you in my prayers. P.S. - I would like to suggest a book for you to read that I have had several of my patients in similar situations read. Go to the library or bookstore and pick up a book called Final Gifts. It is written by two hospice nurses who talk about their experiences and different ways to help you through the grieving process. I highly recommend it.
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