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Forum Name: Cardiomyopathy

Question: Dilated Cardiomyopathy


 Besttop568 - Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:59 pm

My question is regarding my sister's health. She is currently 27 years old. In Oct 04 she had a few strokes. After a few months she was diagnosed with a hole in her heart. In April of 05, she had open heart surgery to repair the hole. In June 05 she had another stroke and was immediately rushed to the hospital. They diagnosed her there with Cardiomyopathy. She is my half sister (on our father's side we have no history of this disease and I know her maternal grandfather died of heart failure his heart was the size of a child's at death in his 50's) Anyway, she refused to hear the diagnosis and checked herself out against medical advice. They had told her that her heart was working at 45% of it's normal volume. They had tried to put her on some kind of steriod which she refused. I know she's currently taking Cumadin and Liptor. Her family DR diagnosed her with high cholestrol and said she didn't have Cardiomyopathy even though the cardiologist at the hospital said she did. She continues to smoke and drink heavily. Without treatment what kind of prognosis does she have? What kind of information can I give her regarding this disease? Is a family Doctor able to go against the diagnosis of a specialist?
 PACU*RN - Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:42 am

Q: Without treatment what kind of prognosis does she have?

A: Only a cardiologist (preferably the one who diagnosed her with the cardiomyopathy) could speak to that. The prognosis of someone her age may be entirely different than someone much older with the disease.

Q: What kind of information can I give her regarding this disease?

A: You said "she refused to hear the diagnosis and checked herself out against medical advice." This indicates that your sister is unwilling or unable to hear this information at this time. Anger and denial, atleast initially, are common in patients in her age group with heart disease. The only one who can provide her accurate disease specific information is her cardiologist. To give her information that may or may not be true about her condition would only lead to confusion and frustration on her part. I would merely encourage her to go back to her cardiologist if she is having symptoms.

Q: Is a family Doctor able to go against the diagnosis of a specialist?

A: You would have to be more specific to your question of "go against". If you mean disagree with a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy made by her cardiologist, I would say probably not unless a follow-up catheterization and other exams revealed otherwise. This type of interpretation and heart disease management is best left to a cardiologist, not a family practice physician.

Karen Marshall RN

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