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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My 93 year old Dad has AF and is now in hospital. Apparently

Customer Question

My 93 year old Dad has AF and is now in hospital. Apparently he suffered a heart attack (not a massive one) and we treasure him and want to now look after him in every way. His Consultant wants him to take life even more slowly and not exercise much at all - his mobility is poor - and the Physios want him in a rehab hospital for as much exercise as possible. His bowels have been very sluggish so we don't want him just in a chair 24/7. Please help Doctor
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today, although I'm sorry that your father is having such problems.
Could you clarify what assistance you are seeking?
Does his doctor not want to place him in a Rehab Hospital?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

His Doctor thinks he needs complete rest and quiet and nothing to tire his heart.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay, as I had gone to bed when I did not hear back from you for a while.

In someone with heart disease, it is appropriate that they should increase activity as much as tolerated. The issue in the case of your father is whether the heart can tolerate much activity, either in terms of causing angina (chest pain from poor blood supply), increased heart rate (from the AF), or signs of congestive heart failure (such as shortness of breath or fatigue). If he has already shown some of these problems with minimal exertion, then it would be wise to limit his level of exertion for the present, particularly if there is no additional method for treatment of the symptom. However, if he has not yet developed any of these problems, then it would be reasonable to perform a gradual increase in activity, and a rehab hospital would be reasonable in that setting.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Doctor. What worries me most is that my father has eaten nothing for the last eleven days and weighs over a stone more than he did on the day of arrival into hospital and is getting bigger. They keep giving him enemas and although he is on water tablets, should they not put a drain into his abdomen to drain the huge amount of excess fluid? At this rate his heart is tiring out and the enemas are exhausting him and he will catch pneumonia at this rate. What do you think Doctor?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
It is typically ineffective to try to drain fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavity from heart disease. The treatments that are effective at clearing the fluid that accumulates in the abdomen is to treat the heart disease, including using diuretics to increase urine flow to generally decrease the amount of fluids in the body.

On the other hand, enemas also will typically not help decrease fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavity. An enema may be appropriate to help clean out constipated stool.