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Old 10-30-2007, 06:26 PM   #1
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preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

Hi guys. I just came home from the hospital Friday, due to congestive heart failure. I had to have an emergency c-section done due to pre-eclampsia they found in my 35th week of pregnancy. Two days after my daughter was born I was moved to ICU because my feet were very swollen, I was coughing up a pinkish colored phlem, and my blood pressure was very high. My pre-eclampsia caused me to develop congestive heart failure & pneumonia due to water retention in my lungs. I was put on lasix and lost 6 liters of water in one night! After five more days in the hospital, they released me on blood-pressure med's. My doctor told me I will need to have another echocardiogram done in 4-6 weeks to check the state of my heart at that point. I am taking it easy at home, and watching the amount of sodium in my diet. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar problem and if my chances of surviving this and getting better are good? I am really upset & concerned with my condition, although the docs say that my heart may repair itself with time. I've heard that the body can take a while to recover from the damages of pre-eclampsia/congestive heart failure. Does anyone have any suggestions or input?

 
Old 11-01-2007, 12:53 AM   #2
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

I'm sorry to hear about your story. I was pretty much in CHF when i was 26. I'm 28 now. I don't know what my EF was but my heart was grossly enlarged and my body was retaining 80lbs of fluid,my feet, face,neck,hands,belly,legs all were swollen.

Did your doctor tell you what to do and what not to do? Last Feb i had an heart infection, i had fluid around my heart, in my lungs, and around my lungs. My ID doctor told me when i was released to just lay in bed for the next 6 weeks to rest my heart. to only get up to go to the bathroom and to eat. I'm not saying this is what you should do but i hope you taked to your doctor about what you should do and not do.


I really don't have much advise on the medical side of things. But i have been dealing with this for over two years now. I have acepted that I'm going to die much younger than i ever would have thought, and i try to live life by the day. I try not to worry- i realize it won't help, and i rather do something i enjoy. My EF is normal of the time of the heart infetion back in febuary of this year, but now i have 3 out of the four valves leaking now, and my heart did go back to a normal size before the infection but it is enlarged as of last febuary.

Good luck to you,

 
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

thanks for the advice. I have been on bed rest also, but I can't stay in the bed all of the time since I have a newborn baby. I hope my heart goes back to normal size. This is very scary. Thanks for your input. Take care, hope things get better

 
Old 11-01-2007, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by pistons22girl View Post
Hi guys. I just came home from the hospital Friday, due to congestive heart failure. I had to have an emergency c-section done due to pre-eclampsia they found in my 35th week of pregnancy. Two days after my daughter was born I was moved to ICU because my feet were very swollen, I was coughing up a pinkish colored phlem, and my blood pressure was very high. My pre-eclampsia caused me to develop congestive heart failure & pneumonia due to water retention in my lungs. I was put on lasix and lost 6 liters of water in one night! After five more days in the hospital, they released me on blood-pressure med's. My doctor told me I will need to have another echocardiogram done in 4-6 weeks to check the state of my heart at that point. I am taking it easy at home, and watching the amount of sodium in my diet. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar problem and if my chances of surviving this and getting better are good? I am really upset & concerned with my condition, although the docs say that my heart may repair itself with time. I've heard that the body can take a while to recover from the damages of pre-eclampsia/congestive heart failure. Does anyone have any suggestions or input?
For a perspective, preeclampsia is a disease that only occurs during pregnancy. Preeclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), and toxemia are essentially interchangeable terms used by your care provider for this disease. This disorder is characterized by swelling, high blood pressure, and no medications will make the disease go away entirely.

After delivery, the disease eventually goes away, and it is unlikely that you will suffer any long-term effects of the disease. Occasionally, there are complications that will require medical attention for a time after you deliver. This may include taking blood pressure medication and frequent follow-up visits with your care provider.

Quote:
I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar problem and if my chances of surviving this and getting better are good?
Almost everyone with congested heart failure have the same symptoms, etc. but the underlying cause varies.

With congested heart failure there is pulmonary edema (fluids in the lung) and sometimes peripheral edema. The condition happens when the heart fails to adequately pump blood into the system and blood received backs up into the lungs and fluids leak out into the tissues and the imbalance increases pressures and pink coloration of sputum showing microorganisms of blood.

Apparently, your experience has placed a heavy burden on your heart/vascular system. Medication to reduce the burden by dilating vessels and coronary arteries, reduce your heart rate, etc. should/will enable the heart, with appropriate rest, etc. to completely recover...you didn't mention a heart attack (MI) that would/could cause heart muscle damage. I am assuming there has been no myocardium infraction (MI, necrosis of heart muscle cells). Take care.

Last edited by started04; 11-01-2007 at 10:12 AM.

 
Old 11-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

thanks for the info. I had no heart attacks. My doc said that chest pains & heart attacks usually aren't associated with CHF. He just told me to get to the ER if my feet begin to swell again & I become short of breath. Is it a good sign that my blood pressure has been staying pretty low on my meds? Last time i took it it was 112/62, last week it was very high. But since I've been on my meds, they have been able to control it. I'm just very worried about the threat of having to get a transplant.. Or that I may not make it. I hope you are right, that with rest & medicine that it will repair. My docs say they believe it will, but I still worry about the chance that it wont. I am barely eating b/c I'm not sure what I can eat. The dr put me on a low sodium diet, he said it will prevent me from retaining water. But mostly everything has sodium in it, so I'm pretty much scared to eat anything. How much is too much & can be harmful? I appreciate anyone's advice b/c I'm in a VERY hard spot right now. Thanks

 
Old 11-01-2007, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

another thing, its a good thing that since I left the hospital a week ago, that I have not began to swell up anymore right? I have not had anymore swelling & they say my lungs still sound clear of fluids. I feel lke I may be improving, besides the fact that I'm afraid to eat anything b/c I'm afraid of sodium & dont know how much is too much. Its in everything! But do people usually improve like I am, then end up going back into CHF? or could these be good signs? I appreciate all of your input. this is very scary & i just hope it does not take my life or require transplant. I want to be here to raise my new little girl.

 
Old 11-01-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

Quote:
My doc said that chest pains & heart attacks usually aren't associated with CHF.
There has to be a misunderstanding as I can't believe a medical doctor would make such a statement. A heart attack damages heart muscle...damaged heart muscle fails to pump adequately...inadequate pumping is heart failure...heart failure causes congestion (chf).

Pain can result from occluded coronary arteries...occluded arteries may fail to aadequately supply blood/oxygen to the heart muscle...lack of blood/oxygen will kill heart cells...damaged heart cells will fail to pump adequately and cause heart failure.

But more importantly, apparently you do not have damaged heart muscle indicating a less serious situation. Your current condition is a very good sign. If there is no retenton of fluids, that inicates cardiac output is improving. For some insight, when cardiac output is low (heart failure), there is a signal sent by the endothelium cells (lining of vessels) there is an emergency for the systems integrity (system reacts believing there is a loss of blood and the kidneys produces more fluids to increase the blood supply). The increase exacerbates blood back flow into the lungs and more edema. Vicious circle.

However, kidney and liver disease has to be ruled out as problem and that is another subject. Some sodium will not be harmful in fact it is required. It is recommended for individuals that may an edema problem is to weigh themselves every morning, if there is a fluid retenton problem there will be a weight gain about 3 lbs. (normal size person). That information was part of my the post hospital stay written instructions.

You should have been told what to look out for, proper diet, etc. Avoid as much sodium as rational but no need to be overly concerned. You may need medication for anxiety or a doctor that will take the time to properly inform. He/she doesn't appear competent from the information posted. Take care.

 
Old 11-01-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

Thanks Ken. you seem to know a lot about this and are being a big help. Do you know what the chances are that I will need an transplant or that I could die? Both my cardiologist and my reg. physician said that almost all of the younger female patients they have had with CHF due to preeclampsia/pregnancy have had positive results, and their hearts healed on their own. My cardiologist did classify my problem as moderate/severe, but at the same time, he released me from the hospital. I called him b/c I was nervous about my condition and he reassured me he thinks I will be ok, and with time my heart should heal itself. But on the internet I find a lot of grim statistics about CHF. I don't know if me being young would make a difference, since before CHF I was healthy. So, you think it is a good sign that I'm not retaining fluids? My family tells me that they think if I would have died from it, it would have been in the hospital when I went to ICU before they took 6 liters of water off of me. Do most people get worse once they get home? Like I said earlier, I have not retained any water, and the meds he gave me have been regulating my blood pressure. I looked up a lot of low-sodium foods I can eat & sent my fiancee to get them for me, so I can get back to a healthier diet. I'm praying that me resting and eating a low-sodium diet, along with taking my lopressor and lesinoprol, will make my E.F. improve by the time I get my next echo done later this month. I appreciate your help SO much, and I'm sorry if I have too many questions. I just don't have many people I can talk to about this. I'm just very concerned my symptoms will come back or that something bad will happen to me before I go back to the doctor. This fear is very real and very scary when you have a little baby you just gave birth to. I appreciate your help so much, and look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks

Last edited by pistons22girl; 11-01-2007 at 06:28 PM.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

The probability is very high that pre-eclampsia/pregnancy is the underlying problem, and almost always there is relief subsequently even without treatment!

If there were some medical concern regarding retention of fluids, the doctor would have given a perscription for a diuretic med. Your current treatment reduces the heart's workload and that will quicken the recovery time.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 01:54 PM   #10
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

My doctor told me that my case was moderate to severe, and in rare cases, was life threatening. It scared the hell out of me. But my cousin works at a doctors office and she pulled my medical records up on the internet today. She looked at my discharge from the hospital and it said my E.F. was 47% on my last echo.. Thats not too bad of a number though is it?

 
Old 11-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #11
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

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Originally Posted by pistons22girl View Post
My doctor told me that my case was moderate to severe, and in rare cases, was life threatening. It scared the hell out of me. But my cousin works at a doctors office and she pulled my medical records up on the internet today. She looked at my discharge from the hospital and it said my E.F. was 47% on my last echo.. Thats not too bad of a number though is it?
It is below normal, but quite good under the circumstances. My EF was 29% when I went to ER over 3 years ago for CHF (mild pulmonary edema). Normal is 55 to 75%, below 30% is heart failure range, and in between heart failure range and normal indicates weak contractions and can be problematic depending on other issues.

My EF is now 60% with recent echo.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 05:18 PM   #12
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

See, I don't understand why it's considered heart failure if my E.F. was over 40%. My first echo showed it at a little over 40, my second echo had it at 47%. My doc told me I did have CHF, but my medical records had those numbers. I don't see it jumping from <30%, up to those numbers in a matter of a day, then the second one, a week later. So, could my records be wrong.. Or would there be another reason they are diagnosing me with CHF..? Congratulations on your 60%.. That has to feel great to be that high. You have done quite a bit of improving. I just hope more than anything that I don't go back into CHF. It's pretty good signs that I have been keeping water off and that my blood pressure has been staying under control with my meds right? I'm just very paranoid about this condition, or that I will suddenly go back into CHF. It's the scariest thing ever, with being young and just giving birth to a baby. I want to stick around.. Thanks so much for your insight.

 
Old 11-04-2007, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

I had a very similar experience 17 years ago, and I am still here to talk about it! Mine was due to severely depleted electrolytes, which wasn't discovered until I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I had a cardiac cath in the hospital before they would let me go home, and there was luckily no damage done. I was on bp medicine for about 3 months after then stopped taking them. My dr told me that it was an indication that I would probably be hypertensive when I was older and he was right. I started taking bp meds when I was 40.
Follow your dr's instructions and you should be fine.
I was watched like a hawk during my second pregnancy, followed up every week after my 4th month, and at 32 weeks my body crashes. Everything was normal in the blood tests at 31 weeks, but by 32 weeks, my potassium levels had dropped off to something not equivalent with life, and that will effect your hearts ability to pump. They put me on potassium tablets at 32 weeks, it brought it up to normal levels, and I was able to have the second baby w/o a c-section. I am sure your dr. has checked this, but if not you might mention it. Apparently our bodies don't like to host little parasites! Good Luck!

 
Old 11-05-2007, 08:26 AM   #14
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See, I don't understand why it's considered heart failure if my E.F. was over 40%. My first echo showed it at a little over 40, my second echo had it at 47%. My doc told me I did have CHF, but my medical records had those numbers. I don't see it jumping from <30%, up to those numbers in a matter of a day, then the second one, a week later.
Left ventricle EF inicates contractile strength for pumping oxygenated blood into the system and can even be normal if there is right-side heart noncompliance.

With right-side failure, there is a deficiency of blood pumped into the lungs and less oxygen/blood going to the left side for system demand. EF, the fraction doesn't change but less oxy/blood is available to meet system demand and there will/could be CHF. Untreated the left side will eventually fail and the EF will drop to below 30%.

 
Old 11-05-2007, 08:46 AM   #15
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Re: preeclampsia leading to congestive heart failure

op, you are quite right about the pre-eclampsia/heart problems link.

This was posted just recently on a major site i the u.k.:

Researchers from London's Institute for Women's Health analysed 25 studies involving over three million women to calculate the future health risks of women who have had a pregnancy affected by pre-eclampsia.

They found women with a history of pre-eclampsia were four times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and twice as likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and blood clots in later life. However, there was only a small increase in mortality.

"The results make it clear that women who have had pre-eclampsia, need to be aware of their increased risk and take action to reduce it."


Good luck and keep us posted

 
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