End of life pulmonary oedema care

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My father is 99 and is gradually filling up with fluid due to heart failure. It started with his lungs, feet and legs, but is now in his upper body in his hands and around his eyes, with leakages appearing. I naively thought the simple answer would be to increase his Furosemide, but successive GPs have requested blood tests and referred him to cardiology (several weeks away). My father is so frail now, barely able to open his eyes or eat and drink, that he just needs to be made comfortable for his final weeks/months. What is the best course of action?

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  • Posted

    He obviously cannot wait for an appointment that is weeks away, how stupid are your doctors?

    I assume you are in the UK so you should phone 999 as it is an emergency and he needs to be under medical care. An alternative would be to get him into a hospice but that would need to be done via your GP.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for your comments Derek. I should have mentioned that he is in a care home and we're not keen for him to end his life in hospital. Think I will ring his GP tomorrow and see what more can be done. It's very frustrating.

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    • Posted

      I'm surprised that the care home does not get a better response from his doctor. Presumably it not his pre care home family doctor but one that tends all the care home patients.

      Are the care home staff trained in end of life situations like this. A friend who was in a nursing home was basically put in a darkened room and neglected for his last two weeks of life.

      A hospice is usually the kindest place to end ones days and they must previously have sent patients to one. 

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  • Posted

    Hello. Carol. Your father is blessed to be that age. He is surely blessed. If his lungs are filling up with fluids that means probably his time is up based on what you are saying (heart failure). Just commit your dad into. The hands of God and trust me he will check out with happiness. My grandfather passed on switching a smile and he was very very happy. No more lain. Get him into hospice and commit him into. The hands of God. God bless you and your family. Take care
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  • Posted

    I quite agree with your response Carol. none of us will live for ever on this Earth so let him pass on peacefully as possible. I cared for my beloved father for the last 10 years of his life until he passed on at almost 102 and it was a blessed release to see him go, In his case he was at home with us but a good hospice will care for him until the end. Medicines cannot be of any use other than perhaps opiates to dull any pain. (I'm no medic so take appropriate advice on this from his care team)

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  • Posted

    I suspect that the Dr's are saying it is a lost cause to try and save him.

    Ask the Dr's what his ejection fraction is, if it is in the low 20's or less, his heart is soo dialated it can no longer squeeze enough to move the blood around his body, let alone through his lungs, therfore the swelling and fluid retention, and there is only so much fruesemide they can give him, I would suspect he is already on max doseage, or close to it.

    At a certain age, the balance comes down to is it more painful and uncomfortable to be pulling out all the stops sticking a patient with blood tests, Dr's examining him, all for no result, to try and save a patient that is reality has reached the end of their time, and more gentle to just let them go.

    You will find his oxygen to his brain is so low, that he is slowly slipping into brain damage as well.

    All of this is no comfort to you, having been there with my Dad, he died of heart failure, my Mum with a stroke that she survived, in a coma but she was still alive and nothing they could do for her, and now my husband also has global heart failure, he also has some brain damage from a congestive heart failure, lungs full of fluid, and I'm afraid he will reach no where near 99, Dr's are amazed he has survived the last 6 years with his heart failure.

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