Pericardial Effusion: Jeff’s Care Team Kept Him Informed Every Step of the Way
“I started getting winded easily,” remembers Jeff. “My chest felt sore and heavy.”
While Jeff lives only a few minutes away from Humber River Hospital, he hadn’t needed the hospital in decades. His chest discomfort was concerning, however, so he went to Humber’s Apotex Emergency Department.
In the ER, Jeff underwent several tests including blood work and X-Rays. The team discovered that he likely had a viral infection. His doctor prescribed him with antibiotics, and told him to return if things worsened.
A month later, Jeff still wasn’t feeling like himself. He was still getting winded and his chest was still uncomfortable. When he went back to the ER, his physician Dr. Alshahristani Haider found that the area around his chest looked enlarged. They set up an appointment with one of Humber’s cardiologists, Dr. Louis Yao, who has an office not far from the Hospital.
Jeff was one of Dr. Yao’s first patients of the day. He arrived early, stopping several times to catch his breath between his car and the office. Dr. Yao performed a cardiac echo that revealed that Jeff had a pericardial effusion; fluid had accumulated around his heart and lungs, likely as a result of his viral infection.
A pericardial effusion can be extremely uncomfortable and Dr. Yao didn’t want Jeff to wait long to have that discomfort treated.
“Reschedule all of my morning appointments,” Dr. Yao told his staff. He verified that Jeff felt well enough to get himself to the Hospital, and instructed him to meet him there.
“I was stunned,” says Jeff, “But every step of the way, the team told me what to expect. That really helped put me at ease.”
“It’s very important for us to communicate with our patients,” says Dr. Yao. “Keeping patients informed is an important part of their care, and it’s how I would want my family or myself to be treated.”
Dr. Yao used a catheter to drain the fluid from Jeff’s side, and he was admitted as an inpatient for monitoring.
“Everyone from the porters to the nurses were great,” says Jeff. “I was set up to watch hockey on the TV in my room and even the food was good. Dr. Yao came to see me a couple of times. He was very comforting throughout everything.”
Months later, Jeff is feeling back to normal and is grateful for the care he received at Humber.
“In traditional Chinese culture, medicine is about being of service,” says Dr. Yao. “It’s our job to look after patients. I feel like I have done a good job if the patient feels they have been well cared for and if they are happy.”