Background: A great number of patients in our country have had valve replacement operation. Considering much problems and not being clear the rate of them in valve replaced patients in this area, this study was done in order to determine the difficulties of these people in Kashan in 2001.
Materials and Methods: In a descriptive study patients with replaced heart valve were examined. For each patient a questionnaire was completed consisting variables such as: age, sex, occupation, valve type, place and duration of valve replacement, dyspnea, hemoptysis, continuous cough, wheezing, palpitation, edema, blood pressure under 95 mm Hg, diet and nutritional habits like salt consumption, abnormal hemorrhage, contraception status, altered daily activities, and sleep difficulties like difficulty in onset of sleep, frequently and unwanted waking up during the sleep and insomnia. Using descriptive statistics, data were classified and presented. Chi square and Fischer exact tests were used for analysis.
Results: Of 140 patients with replaced heart valve, 20 cases had died and 20 people had migrated. The others were 60 women and 40 men. Seventy-five patients ranged 21 – 50 years old. Mean age was 36 years old. Two patients had biologic and 98 patients had mechanical valve. Of participants, 70 cases had at least one respiratory problem. Most common respiratory problems including dyspnea and hemoptysis were associated with Biork Shaily valve (46.6% and 36.7% respectively). Wheezing was mostly related to Sent Jude valve (28.5%). Highest rates of palpitation, edema and atrial fibrillation were observed in patients over 51(85.7, 14.3 and 90.4% respectively). Rates of sleep problems and altered daily activities were 60% and 70% respectively. Fifty-five percent of patients were not educated about care plan after surgery.
Conclusion : dyspnea, hemorrhage, hemoptysis, decreased tolerance to activity, sleep disorders, atrial fibrillation and low blood pressure were the most common problems of patients with heart valve. On the other hand, rate of these problems were higher in uneducated patients than educated ones. Therefore, paying more attention to education of patients after cardiac valve surgery, and also more studies in this field are recommended.