Hi everyone, what a great board. I am very very worried about my aunt. She is in her early 60's and is seeing a cardiologist but she seems to follow directions but doesn't question much. She has bad heart palpitations and is currently on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart medication (cartia), and coumadin. The dr. tried doing a stress test a few months ago but couldn't because her heart was racing. He upped her dose of cartia and she is scheduled for another stress test next week. I am EXTREMELY worried that she is going to go into cardiac arrest while doing the stress (treadmill) test. Reading stories on the internet about people who have died during stress tests isn't helping the situation. Should I have reason to worry, do I insist that this shouldn't be done or what are my options? My aunt does not want me to go with her and is playing it off as no big deal. I realize their are no cardiologists or specialists on this board but if anyone has any insight or opinions on this I would very much appreciate it. Thank you.
I really cannot comment on whether it is in your Aunt's best interest to do a Stress Test, I guess it is up to her and the Doctor to decide if her health can be improved by doing the Test. All I can really do is relay my own experience with a Heart stress Test. The Test is done at the Patients own physical pace, nothing is forced, and the Doctor will be in attendance during the Test, so if things do go wrong there is expert help at hand. The Stress Test, plus perhaps an Echocardiogram, will help the Doctor decide on the best Drugs and other forms of treatment for your Aunt. I hope that all goes well.
I am the same age and condition as your aunt.
Your aunt needs to question everything the Dr. tries to do. From my experience cardiologists main goal is to drug their clients into submission so they do not challange them on anything they recomend. There is a small window of time between when you still have the mind to question things and are when they turn you into a simi-zombi.
I have afib that I feel was drug induced, prescription drugs given to me by my doctor for high blood pressure. The side effect of everyone of them is afib...then two years after taking them, guess what, I have afib!!!!!!
But the drugs did not cause it, he says.
I've had the stress test, it is nothing but a thread mill like you see at the gym. But then, I use a thread mill at home and at the gym.
Someone said the test is done patient's pace.
Hum??? Not mine, they keep inclining the thread mill until your system fails or in my case my blood pressure got so high. I could have gone for a long time.
If your aunt is a couch popato(e) then she can be in trouble with the test. Logically the doctor should know his patient's level of exercise and adjust the test so it will not kill her. Hey, if I have a heart attack I want it to happen at a clinic full of heart doctors and nurses.
Don't worry, they will take care of her.
Yeah sure, they do push you to your limit if possible, 'own pace' was probably a poor choice of words, what I meant was that when you've had enough then that's it, you're not chained to the contraption or anything, just stop walking and get off at the back end of the machine. Sorry to hear about your AFIB caused by Heart Drugs, it seems to be a too common occurence these days.
I had a stress test. The doctor and tech stopped the tread mill test after viewing the visual output of vital signs about 4 minutes into the test. The test had gradually increased in speed and incline. I felt I could go longer although some fatique set into my legs...but I have heart failure and that may have alerted to look closely for any untoward signs.
A problem could arise due to dealing with a machine, instruments and "professional" people, and that could cause harm to a vulnerable patient. Before giving the test there has to be asumptions made that the machine functions properly, instruments are properly calibrated, and the professionals are competent and alert...there is a risk these assumptions are not true and the patient is not fit enough to at least walk without a problem.
There is an alternative for people who can not endure any physical exertion. There is a chemical injected into the system, and the interaction of the circulating chemical is monitored.