Question: My brother-in-law has heart failure and is on warfarin. He has developed edema on his legs and retains fluid. He is very distressed. Is it advisable to give him a tranquilizer? Iris (Peru).
Answer: Heart failure is due to a "pump" failure of the heart. The heart is more weakened to do its "job," which is to move blood through the body's arteries and veins. In these patients, the appearance of edema and thrombophlebitis is frequent due to "slowing down and stagnation" of the blood in the leg veins, causing the formation of thrombi (or clots) within the veins. Treatment is anticoagulation with sintrom.