Bypass

Carotid and subclavian graft/bypass completed and I was released 2 days early as I apparently made a good and quick recovery. Still no pulse tho’

Interesting fact. I had a 2nd echo scan of the heart ( the 1st one was strangely missing from my medical notes)prior to the operation and was asked by various surgeons/anaesthetists for the reason I was on 8mgs per day of warfarin. I said that I had been told that I had had a (silent) heartattack and had deposits in the coronary arteries.

They said  my heart was healthy with no signs of ANY other major blockages and no VISIBLE SIGN OF any serious heart disease in fact was quite good considering my age, previous habits ie smoking and drinking and all the stress I have been going through. I was told to stop Warfarin with immediate effect.

The story surrounding my Cardiac problem follows.

I presented to my GP with “strange” numbness in my left arm and was told it was due to the way I sat… After seeing that GP many times, as my arm was now going cold.

 I changed the surgery where Dr Gama immediately discovered no discernible blood pressure in my left arm and no pulse in the left radial or ulnar arteries. I was referred to Mr Hedges the General Surgeon. I had many tests where the result was that I had a blockage (thrombus) in the left subclavian artery. Dr Tudor attempted to place a stent via the femoral artery and then the right radial artery. Due to the nature of my blood vessels this was not possible and I was scheduled for a carotid/subclavian bypass. I was on a regime of 8mg, 8mg, and 9mgs of Warfarin on a three day cycle. After an echo scan of my heart it was determined I had suffered a silent heart attack but my heart condition could be controlled by medication.

On May 1st 2007 I had a 4th or 5th angiogram performed on my right radial artery specifically as part of the investigation to ascertain the condition of my coronary blood vessels following the diagnosis of a “serious” heart condition. I was on the table for over 90 minutes and mentioned to the Cardio Consultant that my hand felt it had been “reamed” during the procedure as I had felt it “bouncing” off the arm rest. I saw my blood splattered on the floor through a crack in the screen. The blood vessels were described as narrow and twisted and a full investigation was not possible. The computer supplying the “restful” pictures for me to watch during the procedure also crashed 2/3rds of the way through the procedure showing the Windows ‘98(?) “Blue screen of death”

I had immediate pain in my right thumb. The next day I noticed I had NO PULSE in my right radial artery. I saw my GP and he referred me to Dr Martin the Orthopaedic Consultant.

I alsosaw the Cardio surgeon 5-6 times re the pain in my thumb and the lack of pulse but he seemed totally disinterested in both proudly showing me, by “Doppler” investigation, that I had blood flow. The pain in my thumb was excruciating and I now had NO pulse in either hand and only a recordable blood pressure in my right.

Another GP, Dr B Sheehan, said forcibly that I could not have a blockage of the subclavian artery because if I did “then my arm would go blue and fall off”. I expressed my concern as ALL the male members of my family, apart from my father, had died of heart attacks in their late 50’s, my age, but was ignored.

However I WAS sent for a flexible sigmoidoscopy because my Dad had had bowel cancer. This luckily was clear and he died eventually of heart disease at the age of 76.

I rang NHS Direct and they suggested I went to Casualty, which I did. I saw the Casualty Doctor and had a Radiograph of my right hand. He showed me the radiograph and said I had broken my scaphoid bone and needed a plaster splint. I had seen the Rad and said I could not see a fracture, I am a Dental Surgeon and can read radiographs to some extent and mentioned that it could not be broken as I had full movement of my wrist and thumb albeit with great pain.

An argument occurred and I prudently accepted the splint as I was being watched by, what I believed, was security. The nurse practitioner was extremely rough in placing the splint whilst ignoring my pleas for sense. I mentioned the lack of pulse in both arms and she took great delight in tapping both my wrists and saying “see there it is” I returned in agony the next day and had the cast removed and somehow signed a form to that effect.

In the Orthopaedic clinic the following week the Doctor said there was NO fracture of my scaphoid bone, he showed me the radiograph, and said I had arthritic problems which could be helped with a cortisone injection in the joint but this was contra indicated because of my Warfarin intake. Painkillers were also contraindicated for the same reason. I learnt to avoid use of my thumb which was difficult as I had had to make adjustments to counter the sensations in my left arm and now could not use BOTH hands to anything like a full extent.

No mention was made of, or explanation given for the pain in my right wrist

On Easter weekend I was admitted into Ward 8 of the Princess of Wales Hospital Bridgend for the subclavian/carotid graft to “repair” the lack of pulse in the left arm. As the initial diagnostic echo scan was missing I had another one prior to surgery.

 The Anaesthetist then told me “my heart was anatomically correct” and to stop the Warfarin immediately,

he suggested a mis-diagnosis, over exuberant mis- interpretation or even that the heart condition was diagnosed with the wrong echo scan.

I had the operation then suffered extreme pain following infection of the donor site which required 2-3 weeks of Augmentin. I now have increased blood flow in my left arm but STILL no pulse but have been discharged with the same problem with which I presented but also now with no right radial pulse specifically caused during the investigation for my now “misdiagnosed” heart condition.

 I had had an echo scan of my right wrist in December 2007and from this it was determined that” the integrity” of the radial artery was compromised and, I believe, that there is no remedy

ANOTHER misdiagnosis altho’ a little more beneficial than Dr RB John’s

 

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