Doctor’s Diary: October 2, 2019
(Snippets from the frontline)
Stewart had a green thumb growing seasonal flowers bringing color and sweet aromas to his home. “When I was in the Navy serving in Korea, I longed to raise plants, so thereafter that became my simple path of life I have always enjoyed.”
This 86 year old had multiple hospitalizations after falling, but the cause was not found. I questioned Stewart and his wife for an hour, yet there was no clue as to why he kept passing out.
Finally on physical exam, I detected a significant heart sound indicating a valve problem. Reviewing his hospital records, out of 10 doctors who saw the patient, no one mentioned the cardiac “murmur.” Thousands of dollars were spent on testing, but a heart workup was not pursued.
Immediately, I sent him to a cardiologist with an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) revealing an aortic valve anomaly, and then to a specialty hospital for a new procedure, TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement).
No more falls.
A stethoscope and one minute to carefully listen to the heart was all it took to put Stewart back into his garden and on his path of life.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
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