Monday, May 11, 2009


Clarification of Ken's Heart Ejection Fraction %. Information from Google:

Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement of how well the heart is pumping. It represents a percentage of the total blood volume in the left ventricle that is pumped (ejected) with each beat of the heart. As with any pump not all of the liquid is pumped out with each cycle.

Normal EF is in the 50-60% range. Values higher than this are termed "hyperdynamic", meaning that the heart is forcefully contracting. The lower the EF the worse the heart function. A general breakdown of values is as follows: 40-50 % mild dysfunction; 25 - 39% moderate dysfunction; < 25% severe dysfunction.


The term "ejection fraction" refers to the percentage of blood that's pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat. This measures the capacity at which your heart is pumping.
Because the left ventricle is the heart's main pumping chamber, ejection fraction is usually measured only in the left ventricle (LV). A normal LV ejection fraction is 55 percent to 70 percent.

So you don't have to worry. Ken's EF of 45% is not as bad as it sounded in the previous article. But, thanks for your concern.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I know – It’s a shock! It was a shock to us, too!! Everything is fine now; but it was a major set-back for his knee therapy. Sorry I have not written or called anybody, but so much was happening that I just did not have the time. Please forgive me.

Here is the story –

As you know, Ken’s knee surgery was on Wednesday, April 29. He went home on Saturday, May 2. (No rehab following this surgery.) He seemed to be doing OK Saturday; ate dinner, watched the NASCAR race; slept well with the assistance of some pain pills. But, by Sunday evening he was feeling really tired and had difficulty breathing and with some tightness in his chest. Then, on Monday morning, while the Visiting Nurse from Gloucester Home Care was here, Ken became nauseous, had difficulty breathing and felt tightness in his chest. The three of us decided to call the ambulance and he was taken to the Emergency Room at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, Gloucester, VA. They performed numerous tests and deduced that Ken had had a minor heart attack. They kept him in the hospital overnight and transferred him to Riverside Regional in Newport News, VA on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon, the Cardiologist performed a heart cauterization and found Ken’s heart to be in the same condition as we had described it was found it be back in 2004 when a similar procedure was performed in Arizona. Ken has two stents, but in 2004 one stent was found to be blocked with new arteries bypassing it to self-correct. At that time it was determined that no attempt should be made to clear the blockage as that could do more harm than good. On Tuesday, Dr. Burton made the same decision and no additional surgery was performed. He said that normally Ken’s heart is strong enough and functioning at about 45%; but the added stress of the knee surgery and slight changes in his medication had caused the minor heart attack.

Ken stayed in the hospital overnight and, after a few additional tests, he was released on Wednesday afternoon to come back home.

On Thursday morning the Visiting Nurse returned and checked Ken’s vitals, etc. The Physical Therapist came on Thursday afternoon and worked with Ken on some exercises for the knee. She was great!! She almost insisted that Ken’s orthopedic surgeon prescribe a PCM machine for passive knee exercise since Ken had had a major set-back due to the heart attack. So, on Friday morning the PCM machine was delivered. The Therapist came and helped us set it up for use three times a day. We cannot say enough in praise of the Gloucester Home Care organization and feel they and the PCM have been a major plus in his home therapy.

Well, that’s the story. It’s all down hill from here!!!
Ken and I sincerely want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers. You have helped more than you know.