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1270609 tn?1272403546

Is it safe to fly with an EF of < 20%?

Hi. Just joined this site this am. Please read 'about me' first. Dx was made 3/12/10. I have a vacation coming up that requires an 8 hour flight. My Dr. said to go. No guarantees about my health whether I stay home or not. Feel fine. But, ejection fraction of less than 20% is a concern. I am to have a cardiac cath 2 weeks prior to my trip. Just seeking other opinions. Really would like to go on trip. Thanks so much, annette8
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Avatar universal
It's not only the heart that rules us.  Anytime you have a major organ fail, it causes terrible problems.  I have stage 5 renal failure, and stage 4 heart failure, and today I was told the best outlook for me is 10 years, and that's with intense treatments....daily dialysis, and perhaps a defib installed for my heart.

So, today, I'll be working on setting up training to become a home nurse, for myself and my husband, and in 3-4 weeks we'll both be licesened to do home dialysis, if it all works out.  Then I'll be doing center dialysis until my numbers stabilize, and can move it all home.

As far as my heart goes......I'm hoping it holds up until I can get back in to see my cardiolgist, and he will be ready to quit sitting on his hands and do something for me.  His associate, who did my heart cath, is ticked off at me for complaining about him not following up with a report after my heart cath, and so it's been slow going every since.  I guess he's hoping that by now, I wouldn't be problem for him anymore....well surprise....I'm still here after 6 months.  If I had it all to do over again, I don't think I would change a thing, though.  I feel that for what they charge for a heart cath, and the fact that it's done on such an important part of your body, that the doctor owes you a report when it done.....am I wrong about that?
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1270609 tn?1272403546
I agree about trip. Not thr right time. BP is so different for each person and then you have to factor in the pulse. This heart rules us. Pray the best for you.
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Avatar universal
A low BP makes more sense than a an EF of 15-20% and high BP, which is where I am.  I wonder how my heart can be weak and enlarged and still cause high BP, with no blockages, as per a heart cath in November, and a regimine including 7 different BP pills a day.....it just does not make sense.  With the 7 pills my BP still runs about 140/80, and the doc would like to see it around 120/70, but at that level my heartrate drops to below 60, so they have given up on that.

Sorry about your trip, but everything happens for a reason, so perhaps your time to fly isn't good right now.
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1270609 tn?1272403546
I was working 14-15 hours every weekend as a hospital nurse on a stroke unit. After I have the ICD, dr said start with 4 hour shifts a few times a week. I will see, after my ICD recovery time, how I do.
Helpful - 0
1270609 tn?1272403546
BP was never more than 140/85. That was when I startef Toptol XL 9 years ago. Now the CHF meds Coreg, Lisinopril, Dig, Lasix, ans Aldactone keep me really under control. Dr would like top number to be around 90 to take the load off the heart. With my EF so low, I feel pretty good.Still sleep with one pillow, and sleep well when I am not thinking too hard.
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1236285 tn?1343238974
Sorry that I didn't notice your post re: icd..............when I could have commented here,

Tell me - what explains having low BP.  It's concerning.

I have a cousin Marian - who always has - and has had a very low BP all her life and she is as skinny as a rail.  She has even commented to me - that because she walks - miles per day - her BP is low.

What other meds are you on?

And do you work?  I don't.  I'm disabled because of the CHF.

Regards
Helpful - 0
1270609 tn?1272403546
Well, the volcano took care of that trip; maybe in the fall. Had a cardiac cath; no blockages. Suspect that "mysterious" virus caused the CHF. Planning now for a BiV ICD, although the operation scares me. Got to be done. Coreg wasn't raised last visit because my pulse drops to low 50s, even 48 one day. Can tolerate the low BP (90/50), but do feel poorly with a pulse of 48. Thing is the pulse is also frequently in the 70s too.
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Avatar universal
Personally, I don't think it's safe to fly no matter whether you're ill or not, especially now days, but putting that aside.....I know that you will have to be mindful of the swelling in your legs, and feet while traveling.  That would be true even if you were traveling by car, train, boat or plane.

Once you get to your destination, then take steps to address any swelling you might have from the trip, otherwise it will get worse until you end up in the ER on a breathing machine, fighting for your life.

I've been there, and done that, and there is nothing worse than waking up unable to take a breath.


Once you have addressed the swelling and have it under control, then ENJOY your vacation!
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Avatar universal
Hi Neil. Are you able to exercise and sleep well? Sounds like your EF has stabilized. Have you considered a transplant in the future?
Kind regards
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1270609 tn?1272403546
Thanks for your answer. Encouraging that you do so well with EF of 15%. Dr. not sure of cause; maybe virus, maybe an MI. May know more after cath. Thanks again.
Helpful - 0
1236285 tn?1343238974
Welcome

Sorry for the reasons that have brought you here.

I've read - about you.  Have they told you what is responsible for your CHF?

I've had an EF of 15% for the past 7 years.

We seem to be able to do pretty much the same things.

I hope the Cath sheds some light on things.

Do take that vacation.  Do be very careful and be mindful of your circulation - on such a long flight.

Regards,

Neil
Helpful - 0
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