I need to help my Dad

  1. 0
    my father has been to the hospital for what he thought was a heart attack but turned out to be angina, however they have asked him to complete some tests.

    i have managed to explain the difference between the two, thus making it easier for him to relax. because i'm new i dont have all the answers and he has some questions that were answered with industry jargon.

    can some one put into lamens terms for me so i can send it to him. any help is appreciated.

    what are a chest x-ray and an ecg for and what will they tell us?


    an angiogram has been mentioned. what does this entail?


    depending on the results what will be his options for treatment?

    is there any where he can go to receive on going information?

    thanks for you help in advance, milenko
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Jan 16, '05 : Reason: removed email address

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 4 Comments...

  3. 0
    May I suggest that you refer to Web MD on the internet where you can find answers to all of your questions - primarily in lay language and phraseology. All of the information may be printed which you can then provide to your dad or if he is computer literate, simply refer him to the WEB MD site.

    Good luck!
  4. 0
    Excellent advice, Salty.

    To the OP: may I also add that it's imperative that you ask questions of your health care providers if they are speaking in terms you don't understand. If you have questions, ask them. They are the most knowledgable about your dad's specific condition and treatments.
  5. 0
    Quote from milenko
    my father has been to the hospital for what he thought was a heart attack but turned out to be angina, however they have asked him to complete some tests.

    i have managed to explain the difference between the two, thus making it easier for him to relax. because i'm new i dont have all the answers and he has some questions that were answered with industry jargon.

    can some one put into lamens terms for me so i can send it to him. any help is appreciated.

    what are a chest x-ray and an ecg for and what will they tell us?


    an angiogram has been mentioned. what does this entail?


    depending on the results what will be his options for treatment?

    is there any where he can go to receive on going information?

    thanks for you help in advance, milenko
    a chest xray is basically a picture of the chest that would show organs in the chest cavity. an ecg is done to show heart patterns - to determine irregular rhythms and such. an angiogram is an xray that shows blood vessels. with regards to what options of treatment are - that is something the doctor will explain because every doctor will have a different idea of what to do with a patient. webmd is a very good website for information. i agree with the two prior posts, questions should always be directed towards the physician - it is imperative that your father, and your family understand what diagnosis and treatment your father will be recieving. good luck, and i hope for a speedy recovery for your father
  6. 0
    There is a difference between angina and heart attack. In angina, you get narrowing/hardening of the blood vessels of the heart. Sometimes the blockages are fat deposits - or sometimes the blood vessels are sticky and pick up waste materials, fibres etc that make them narrow. When it is hard for blood to get through, it causes pain.

    With a heart attack, these narrowed vessels actually become fully blocked, and this leads to death of the heart tissue itself. This is called a myocardial infarction (heart attack). There are a few ways you can tell the difference:

    ECG changes will show whether there are electrical changes in the way the heart operates - if there are changes that is one indicator of heart attack having happened.

    Cardiac enzyme changes - This measures a few types of enzymes (CK, CK-MB, Troponin I). Each enzyme change will show if there has been any breakdown in muscle at all, and some of them will be more specific to cardiac muscle. So if there are enzyme changes, this is another reason to suspect a heart attack.

    A history of heart disease too - basically if you have two out of the three you have probably had a heart attack.

    With angina - because the vessels are only partially blocked, the vessels can be dilated (made larger) temporarily using a drug called GTN (aka nitrogycerine or anginine). If the problem is a partial blockage (angina) then the pain will often go away after this drug is given. Your Dad will likely come home with little tablets to put under his tongue or a patch that is applied to the skin.

    Angiography is just a way to check which vessels are causing the problem. There is also something called PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) where instead of just looking at the vessels, they can insert a small balloon, and even place a stent in there to clear out and widen the site of the blockage.

    Chest X-ray can tell him things like if his heart is too big - if he's had heart trouble for some time, then his heart will have been working very hard and some of the muscle will have become loose and floppy. This makes your heart look bigger. It can also find out if there is any excess fluid around the heart, or any infections to the linings surrounding the heart. They will also check the lungs and see if there is anything wrong there, which could account for the breathlessness he is probably expriencing with the angina.

    Long term, your Dad can do much to manage his angina. He may have high blood pressure - they can give him drugs to control that (ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers etc). They will want to thin his blood so it moves more easily through his vessels - so using some kind of antiplatelet (like aspirin) or anticoagulant (like warfarin) will help. He will want to be able to control angina attacks rapidly, so he will have GTN in patches, tablets or spray. He may also have some pain, so he will proabably be given some pain control.

    The kind of angina he has will be diagnosed by his MO hopefully. There are many different types (Unstable, stable, prinzmetals, intractable and silent ischemia)...and they have many different triggers and symptoms. Treatment will be based a bit on what kind he has.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top