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Re: Treatment Decision For Young Stroke Patient - PFO

Re: Treatment Decision For Young Stroke Patient - PFO

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Posted by Peter Brown on October 10, 2000 at 01:25:42:

In Reply to: Treatment Decision For Young Stroke Patient - PFO posted by Dan on October 09, 2000 at 14:48:15:

: I'm writing from the hospital. I'm male, married without children and in my mid-30's in very good physical condition.

: I suffered a stroke last Saturday (I believe it was an embolic stroke). Lost my vision, suffered vertigo and 1/4 of my brain is now fried, but luckily the emoblism only affected by lower brain (cerebellum). I've got all my faculties and motor functions and will be released any day now - once my INR goes up.

: The cause is believed to be due to a small "hole" in my heart or a PFO which allowed the clot to go from the right to left side of my heart. Essentially the doctors have given me two choices: (1) take Coumadin for the rest of my life, or (2) fix the hole. The hole can be fixed via a special procedure or open heart surgery. My doctors tell me that no answer is the right one, it depends upon what the individual wants to do. The numbers I believe are 2% to 12% recurrence if I don't do anything, 5% if I take Coumadin, and nil if I close the hole (assuming that was the cause).

: My question to everyone out there is whether you've got any practical experience regarding life on Coumadin for an active person (I'm an amateur bicycle racer on the weekends), open heart surgery, etc.

: Any responses would be gratefully appreciated.

: Regards


I have been on Coudamin for the past year and must remain on it for life. It has been around for a while and I believe a safe drug if used correctly. It is used to thin the blood ie to stop clots forming internally. To monitor your dosage regular blood tests are done for an INR count, the higher the count the easier you bleed and bruise if bumped. It would be up to your GP or specialist to set the optimum INR required.

The hole in the heart may have allowed the clot to traverse to the brain, to fix this would minimise the risk of it occuring again but what caused the clot in the first place. I suffer from a clotting disorder and a clot could develope anywhere unless controlled.

I hope this is enough information that you may be able to get the right answers for yourself.

Peter Brown

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