Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Monday, November 3, 2008

Update on my Heart - Ejection Fraction Rate

I went it for my 3 month appointment with Dr Mendler and we had a lot to talk about. I had a lot of testing done in the last couple of months.

One thing we talked about was my heart. I told you that I had a DSE or dobutamine stress echocardiogram. I won't go into the test here but the results.

GOOD NEWS!!! My Heart is better than a year ago! My heart function that they look at *the ejection fraction rate* is as I understand it a way to rate how strong your heart muscle is as SQUEEZING the blood out when it is supposed to. Last year it was at 60% Lower part of normal….now it is at 70% the high end of normal….So that is great news….and will help me get through surgery…..

"A normal ejection fraction is between 55-70%. A year ago you were at the low end of normal, and now you are at the high end of normal." Says coordinator Kara......

This is from NURSE EXTRODINARE and one of my very best friends, Michelle....

"Very good. It can be the difference that makes all the difference.

Your heart has to overcome a complete overhaul of the pipes in your vascular system. The new liver does not talk with your heart and brain like a normal liver and so your body cannot tell your new liver to loosen up and let more blood through. Sooooo your heart has to just be able to PUSH to get the blood through...

..and now, your heart has more ABILITY to PUSH.. It's a VERY GOOD THING."

And here is the technical stuff ::::

What Exactly Is EF, Anyway?

You really have to follow this to understand what's going on with your heart. Come on, it ain't rocket science! Your heart circulates blood through 2 separate systems. The two chambers on top (atriums) are receiving stations for blood. The two lower chambers (ventricles) are pumping stations.
Your left ventricle forces oxygen-rich blood into your arteries, which carry it throughout your body. The blood returns to the right atrium, which passes it down to the right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps this blood to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood then returns to the left atrium, which dumps it into the left ventricle, and the cycle repeats. Valves between the chambers prevent "backwash."

When the left ventricle contracts, forcing blood out into the body, it's called "ejection" since it is "ejecting" the blood out into your arteries. Since the big pumper on the lower left is the one that pushes blood throughout your body, that is where they usually measure heart function - the left ventricle.
That's the "ejection" part. The "fraction" part is because that pumping chamber (the left ventricle) never quite manages to pump out all the blood inside it - there's always a little bit left behind that lies around waiting for the next contraction. The amount your left ventricle does pump out per beat is called the "ejection fraction". It's X% (the amount pumped out) of the total amount of blood in the ventricle per heart beat.

Gimme a Number!

If your heart pumps out 55% or more of the blood in your left ventricle on each beat, you have good heart function. When it falls below 55% on each beat, you're slipping. That means your heart muscle is too weak to force as much blood out on each contraction as it should.

The ejection fraction is the amount of blood pumped out with each heart beat and is a measure of the heart's overall capacity and function. A normal ejection fraction is between 55 and 70%. Damage to heart from heart attack, heart muscle disease, or heart valve problems can contribute to a below-normal ejection fraction.

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