May 25th marked a special anniversary for Consuelo – one year since a life-saving procedure to remove fluid from around her heart, all thanks to the doctors at Sun River Health.
Consuelo had been a patient at Sun River Health Kraus Family in Southampton for five years, and up until a year ago, her care had consisted of regular check-ups to keep her in good health. Last year, her journey took an unexpected turn when she visited the health center to seek treatment for what she thought was a common cold, but it turned out this was not the case at all.
As tests were done and the results came back negative, Consuelo wondered why she was continuing to feel sick, and her symptoms continued. We often hear of patients’ symptoms being dismissed – especially those that mimic the common cold. It would have been easy to send her home with general guidance to rest and hydrate, but her doctor at Sun River Health insisted on looking further into her condition. One symptom in particular, her breathlessness, stood out to her doctor as indicative that something wasn’t right. The doctor’s concern led Consuelo to the emergency room for an echocardiogram and ultimately being diagnosed with pericarditis.
Pericarditis, a serious issue involving swelling and irritation of the thin saclike membrane surrounding the heart (pericardium), was the cause of her persistent symptoms. Consuelo’s specific condition was a pericardial effusion, where her heart had become surrounded by fluid. Buildup of fluid can cause compression of the heart, which impairs its ability to function. Consuelo needed an immediate pericardiocentesis to drain the fluid, which, using a small catheter and a needle, a cardiologist was able to successfully perform. The quick thinking and thorough evaluation made by her Sun River Health doctor quite possibly saved her life.
“I’d like to share my appreciation for the staff at Sun River Health Kraus Family in Southampton. I appreciate the compassion I was shown during this scary and stressful event. During my five-year journey as a Sun River Health patient, I have seen the amazing professionalism, patience, and dedication of the doctors, nurses, and staff who care for patients. I am eternally grateful for all of the diligence and attention shown to me to ensure I was taken care of. Throughout this process I learned to have faith in the science of medicine and in the goodness of people” – Consuelo