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Heart Surgery Patient Guide

In Case of Emergency: What To Do If...

911 number of cell phone.If You Need Immediate Help

Go to your local emergency room or call 911 if you are experiencing:

  • Chest pain or discomfort (angina-like) similar to the pain you had before surgery
  • Fast heart rate - more than 150 beats per minute, especially if you are short of breath
  • New irregular heart beat
  • Shortness of breath NOT relieved by rest
  • Fever with chills
  • Coughing up bright red blood
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in arms or legs
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Fainting spells
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • New onset of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Bright red blood in bowel movement

If You Have Concerns

Call your doctor if you are concerned about:

  • Weight gain - 1 to 2 pounds per day for two days
  • Worsening ankle swelling or leg pain
  • Worsening shortness of breath
  • Sharp pain when taking in a deep breath
  • Pain in calf that becomes worse when leaning head toward toes
  • Urinary tract infection - frequent urination, burning or urgency with urination
  • Temperature higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, twice in 24 hours
  • Bleeding, drainage or oozing from incisions that has increased
  • Incisions that are red, warm to touch, swollen or opening
  • Skin rash
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Acute gout flare-up

Also call us at (323) 442-5849 if:

  • you have questions regarding your surgery or your incisions.
  • you have questions regarding your medications or other symptoms not listed here.
  • you can't decide whether your symptoms require you to go to the emergency room.
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