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Alina M. Family Member

Dizziness, fainting and a low PI

I am writing this in hope of finding someone with some advice. Perhaps someone out there has experienced the following sympoms and has found healing. My father, is currently in the hospital and his team doesn't know for sure what is causing his constant dizziness and low PI. He has also experienced vtacs. His team initially thought it was from being on Lasix and being too dehydrated. Then after many normal tests, they said it might be the right side of the heart weakening and not pushing enough blood to the left side. They started to adjust his meds, but he is slightly better with the vtacs and pi, but it hasn't completely gone away. Does anyone know what could be the cause? Thank you for your time!
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Gregory D.

Hi there low controller numbers are being caused by 2 things, dehydration and screwed up electrolytes. The PI can be increased by drinking Pedialyte or another electrolyte drink. No more than what his LVAD team says is the max for the day. Been there done that and the electrolyte drinks do help.
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Jessica G.

Yes and also inquire about his potassium, iron, and magnesium levels.
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Anne W.

Are we talking about low flow and high PI? This is the case with my husband.. The heartmate3 apparently has a few reports of this nature - they say its more positional than heartmate2 sometimes lying on your left side could cause alarms Also it could depend on the size of your LV cavity which if it is small could be a problem also it could be related to hypertension - and if you take more than one med for htn, in the morning some say you should check into staggering them a few hours apart. Are the low flow incidents close together - particular time of day? of course if you have intermittent arrhythmias -this also could be a problem and an ambulatory EKG study may shed some light of course hydration is a huge culprit. Just some thoughts My husband was a marathon runner and never smoked etc, etc, but damage was still done.... Having a good time - met some cool folks along the way - had the LVAD since June 2017 - Our kids call me "Cyborg"
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Anne W.

Did you mean low flow and High PI? This is a troubleshooting list for Heartmate3 There could be a myriad of reasons for these alarms 1. Dehydration of course and electrolyte imbalance 2. LV cavities pre and post LVAD - small cavities are prone to these symptoms 3. Intermittent arrhythmias - chk with ambulatory EKG study 3. Heartmate 3 are more sensitive to balance than heartmate2 could be related to Hypertension - ck when this happens - consider spacing hypertensives out more during the day 5.Does this happen at a particular time of day ? particular activity? 6. Lying on left side has been known to cause it also My husband was a marathon runner, no smoking, no family history etc. etc. so sometimes there are no answers... However, we are travelling, having fun and happy to be doing so - Our grandkids call him "Cyborg" if you get more feedback - please share..
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gilbert b.

I was constantly having low flow alarm with my heartmate 3 along with high

pi readings and dizziness. they finally get recall notice that pump connection has flaw in way it was designed

and i had surgery to correct it which seems to have helped with alarms. i don't read much on here about

the heartmate 3 recall

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Chris H.

Have they checked his Hemoglobin levels? I was having awful bouts of dizziness. Very lethargic. Turned out it was caused by an active bleed and my hemoglobin had dropped dramatically.

A few pints of blood sure helped 👍👍

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Jean G.

My with after her LVAD insertion was performed Oct 2022, she was experiencing a lot of dizziness. After a couple months it was me who asked the DR what meds could be causing this, We adjusted her meds and reduced some and 1/2 of the dizziness was gone. Lorsarton was stopped which one of the side effects is dizziness. We also stopped carvedilol which also caused dizziness.And just recently we reduced her Pantoprazole to 1/2 which she was taking due to stomach bleeding because of the prednisome she has been taking for over 10 years due to lung rhumatoid arthritsis! Yet she is still dizzy, does anyone have or had this dizziness issue and if so how did you stop it? I don't know if it's the meds or there just isn't enough blood being pushed to the brain that causes this dizziness and it is extremely frustrating to her. Dr/cardiologist can't figure it out either. We already went to a neoalogist who tested her and determined it had nothing to do with the stroke over a year ago and agreed that it has to be lack of blood flow to her head/brain. So I am wondering if I should suggest to the DR again, if upping the pump speed will increase blood flow to her head/brain!!!

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In reply to by Jean G.

Diane B.

You are right the dizziness could be drug related or may even be the timing of the drug. It can also be caused by dehydration. My husband gets it when his diuretic is working too good and he does not drink enough fluid. We also did have a speed change about 18 mod ago  which helped as well. Sometimes it is trial and Error. Just do not change too many things at the same time or you will not know what the true issue is. Do you check your wife’s MAP when she had these spells to see if it is a drop in pressure? Good luck. I am sure with your support and obvious interest you will get this resolved with the VAD team.



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I just joined, my first time here. I got my heartmate3, 3 months ago. Seems my progress has slowed or reached a plateau. I can walk without a walker at maybe a 50 yard range. Though anything I do takes a couple minutes of heavy breathing to recover. Though not severe, I seemed to be plagued with constant light dizziness. I was hoping to find some encouragement and this is just part of the recovery proccess. From what I'm reading, this is not an isolated issue. I guess my question is, For those who experienced dizziness, have a lot of you overcome it? Or is this as good as it gets?

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Patrick G.

 This might help. I've had my L-VAD for over a year

I had the same problem I was as they put it ( dried out). Talk to your doctor next and see if this is the problem. I was on 2 water pills at one time. After I stopped taking them. With the Drs consent. It worked pretty much. I do still get dizzy if I stand up to fast. Hope this helps you out.



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Ralph M.

The last two times I went to the emergency room my PI was low and I was dehydrated . The trick for me is to not drink too much water take piss pills and still not get dehydrated. It’s like every thing else it is a balancing act. When I get dehydrated I’m very dizzy and feel a little disoriented.

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Joanne L.

   I have had my LVAD for about 18 months- I was having problems with low flow alarms in the beginning and the Doctors figured out it was high blood pressure. I am now on 3 different hypertension medicines. It has taken quite a bit of work and experience to know what drugs work at what dosage. I am not a big person -so I have to take some medications at children’s dosage levels. My husband takes my maps if I get an alarm but now that my medications are straightened out I am doing fine. I had a bad dizziness attack when I first started on the drugs and I fainted and fell on a tile floor- so I am very careful now about my medications. I take different drugs spaced out at different times during the day and I am doing great now. I still get dizziness sometimes at night when I wake up but my husband and I figured out that my blood pressure can occasionally drop too low at times. Taking the maps is an extremely important tool- it can tell you quite a bit! I have adjusted to drinking more water than I ever have in my entire life! You have to be your own medical detective sometimes- keep persevering through it- I have many times suggested medication changes and the Doctors do listen and try out suggestions- use your instincts and watch carefully how things go at particular times of the day etc. You will eventually figure it out- it just takes some effort and time and patience- Hope this helps- Joanne L.