My Fathers Heart Is Only Working At 40%, Can You Tell Me More About This ?

Question

Asked by wendy pincott

My Fathers Heart Is Only Working At 40%, Can You Tell Me More About This ?

we just found out that his heart is only working at 40%,he is very breathless & gets extremly tired easily; he is 80 yrs old and has heart problems for many years

twelve years ago he had triple heart bypass, since then he has had a stent inserted is this latest news serious?

Answer

wendy pincott,

Thanks for your question.

This could mean one of two situations. The first may be that his physician is talking about your Father's ejection fraction (EF), which is a determination of the amount of blood that is pumped each beat in relation to the volume of blood in the ventricle before the heart begins to contract. The normal range for the ejection fraction is 52 - 56 %. If a patient has a reduced EF, such as your Father, there is a greater chance of developing congestive heart failure, and the major symptom for this is shortness of breath.

The other situation is that his physician may be estimating your father's heart function as compared to a normal of 100%.

Either situation is serious given his long history of heart disease, bypass surgery, and stent placement. Despite this, many patients's symptoms can be improved and controlled with medication with an improved lifestyle.

Best wishes to your Father.

Martin Cane, M.D.