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Don’t get caught with these deadly CPC exam mistakes

Nobody wants to know how to fail the AAPC CPC exam, so the following tells you what to look out for. You just need to be aware of certain CPC exam rules that can result in you getting disqualified or automatic failure. You can consider this as a quick checklist of what not to do when you’re in the medical coding certification or AAPC CPC exam hall. So let us discuss what are the things you shouldn’t do that breaks the exam rules.

Leave your cell phone behind

First of all, you’re not allowed to bring your cell phone to the exam. This also goes for any electronic devices like smart phones, tablets, mobile gaming consoles, etc. You wont have any place to stow them during the exam anyway, so the best solution is to just not bring them at all.

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Bring the right tools

With that said, make sure you do bring the required items for the medical coding certification exam. Check with the CPC exam proctors several days beforehand to know what you’ll need. Basically you’ll need a picture ID, your member ID, #2 pencils, as well as the CPT, ICD-9CM, and HCPCS II manuals.

Keep up to date

Remember that the code sets for each coding book are updated every year, so it’s essential for you to have up to date books. Using out of date books would obviously puts you at a disadvantage, with substantial penalization. The exams are updated every January for the new code sets, so you can’t use upcoming year’s book for the exam. Do keep in mind that the exam proctors may not clarify test questions during the CPC exam.

Tabbing your coding books

You’re permitted to tab your coding books for quick reference, whether you inserted, glued, pasted, taped, or stapled it in the manuals. Having handwritten notes in the coding books are also acceptable only if they pertain to daily coding activities. The guideline is that they should be used with the intent to earmark a page with words or numbers, not supplement information in the book.

Keep it to yourself

Finally, any attempt to smuggle exam materials out of the exam hall will result in you failing the AAPC CPC exam. If you exhibit collaborative or disruptive behavior, then it can be cause for immediate action by the proctors. Because the CPC exam materials are confidential, you may not copy or discuss the questions with others during or following the examination. Now that you know how to fail the AAPC CPC exam by breaking the exam rules, be sure to keep all the points here in mind and you’ll do well to pass the AAPC CPC exam.

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Click here and find out how to pass the CPC exam on your first try!

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Get certified by watching medical coding review videos

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to getting help to get you certified as a medical coder fast. You may have the experience and coding knowledge to take the CPC exam, but it is still a good idea to invest a little to get further coaching and advice as part of your preparation. There are no shortage of practice exams, books, prep courses, certified trainers, and review classes that you can use.

Let’s add one more unique choice to the list: coding review videos. Video engage more of our senses, so when we study using coding review videos or DVD, we simply absorb more due to the fact that it is in an audio and visual form. Laureen Jandroep has released her blitz review videos for coding and CPC exam for some time, and since it’s release has been helping students to pass the CPC exam on their first or next try.

Today: Check out her bubble and highlight technique.

Today: Check out her bubble and highlight technique.

So lets review again why Laureen Jandroep’s coding blitz videos or DVD are so much better as review materials:

First of all, you simply get more value from the videos or DVD because you get Laureen personally guiding you through all the steps you need to do to pass the certification exam. Every aspect is covered from identifying areas to focus on, how to maximize your study and exam time, how to mark up your CPT book, time management, and more. Check out her credentials as a certified medical coding and billing trainer and you’ll see why she has a long list of testimonials from past students.

When you do your review in videos, you absorb more information. She is speaking directly to you in the videos, so you pay more attention. You also get to follow along with her explanations and illustrations. Also, videos are less likely to make you fall asleep. If you commute a lot, why not download the videos onto your iPod or MP3 player to squeeze out more review time. When you’re at home, just pop in the DVD.

Not everyone studies at the same pace, so in a classroom environment you are usually either ahead or behind. The blitz review videos is like your virtual classroom, you get to pause, rewind, and fast forward your teacher. And if you have questions that aren’t answered in the videos, you still have her telephone support and access to her private community of experienced coders and billers.

Click here now to see a special video presentation for you by Laureen herself!

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Retaking the CPC exam

If you have failed the CPC exam, trust me, you are not alone. Even though the CPC exam is an open book exam, there are a great many factors to take into consideration. A grueling examination for would-be medical coders, taking nearly 6 hours long, the CPC or Certified Professional Coder certification exam by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is brutal and does not boast of a very high passing rate for first time test-takers.

First, you must get a passing rate of 70% to pass the CPC exam. It used to be that you need to get 70% on each of the 3 sections of the CPC exam, which means that should you fail to reach 70% on just one section you will not pass the CPC exam.

For this reason, there are plenty of study guides out there to help you get ready to retake the CPC exam. There are a few recommended by the AAPC, as well as online prep courses by experienced trainers and coders that can help you hone your coding skills.

You can retake the CPC exam within 12 months of your failed test without having the pay the hundreds of dollars that the first test cost. That alone should be a relief to you, so now not only do you have the opportunity to sit for the exam again but can do so at no further cost to you. The thing to remember is that you have to take the test within 12 months of the initial exam or you will be charged a fee. Don’t delay too long in retaking the test because all the study you did will still be fresh in your mind. If you have to wait longer before retaking the CPC exam, then you’ll have to maintain your study efforts at a high level to ensure you don’t forget and lose the information you’ve worked hard for.

Click here for a special personal video message now

Click here for a special personal video message now

When you receive your scores, you will be notified which sections were problematic for you, so you can focus your studies and improve on your weaknesses. Being able to fine tune your studies to pass the CPC exam is a great benefit to you. Not only will you see which areas you succeed in, but being able to target your low scores makes it much easier to focus all your energy and effort for the next round. Talk to other students as well as your mentor or coach so you can target the weak areas specifically.

Take more timed practice exams to get back into the rhythm and refine your study and question-answering strategies. When testing day rolls around again, you’ll be more at ease and be better prepared for the CPC exam. Don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Go in with a positive and confident mindset that you’ll do well this time around.

What makes Laureen Jandroep’s blitz review videos so good that you can pass the CPC exam on the first or next try? Click here now to find out more!

Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice …

The certification examinations are administered through the AAPC’s local chapters and Professional Medical Coding Curriculum (PMCC) sites. These examinations are proctored by AAPC’s approved

City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Inasmuch as I do not have two years coding experience or provide proof thereof, I understand that upon passing the examination, I will be

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS FOR THE CPC/CCA EXAM Unless the question states otherwise, assume that a physician documented all the information provided.

MEDICAL CODING FROM HOME How to Get Started in the Lucrative Medical Coding Field Presented by: Jim May www.HowToStudyForCPCExam.com

AHIMA Boot Camp provides students an overview of Medical Coding and the transformation of narrative descriptions of diseases, injuries, and healthcare procedures

AAPC Medical Coding Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions 1. Does this class include the certification exam? Answer: Yes, it includes the Certified Professional Coder exam, through the American Academy of

AAPC and AHIMA Certifications 1 | AAPC & AHIMA Certifications Certifying Body Certification Credential Cost(s) Current Coding Books AAPC www.aapc.com

College of Health Related Professions Continuing Education MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING PROGRAM Medical Coding Certification Review Course The review course will prepare individuals planning to sit for the CPC® exam.

Examination Date Examination Index # (available from contact person or online at www.aapc.com) City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Coding course certificate or transcript of completion attached

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A digital download product designed to prepare you for the AAPC medical coding certification exam by providing you with a practice exam modeled after the real

To U.S. Supreme Court Michael Jackson’s dermatologist resists medical board-ordered exams — Veronica Rocha, Times Community News Follow Veronica Rocha on Twitterand

Stress you feel when taking a medical coding certification exam mostly comes from uncertaintythat if at any time you feel the exam environment is distracting

coding certification. To get the certification, one needs to pass the medical coding certification exam sponsored by AAPC or any other organization. There are a

The: History Physical Exam Medical Decision Makingor other outpatient visit codes (99201-99205), the extensive collection of funny medical slang and acronyms

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam …

View original post: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Read the original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Read the original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

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Excerpt from: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

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Get A Medical Field Job – Online Medical Terminology Classes

Online Medical Terminology Classes

Part of the skill set needed for any job is learning and using the vocabulary associated with the concepts and processes of the job. There are certain words and phrases that are used in every job that hold certain meanings within a context. For example, the word lead in the music world is the person is singing the melody or the guitar player who performs the solos. The word lead in the sales world is a potential customer, and in the racing world it means the person, car, horse or dog that is at the front of the pack of competitors. While we all possess a certain vocabulary for every day life, professions have a vocabulary that may hold certain meanings according to the job performance or tools. Online medical terminology classes are an example of the set of vocabulary words that are used within jobs found in many medical professions. Taking online medical terminology classes is a requirement for completing a degree or certification program.

Some students may see online medical terminology classes as needless memorization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like the previous example, there are vocabulary words and phrases that carry their own special meanings in the medical professions. It is a useful and necessary requirement that all students learn these terms and phrases to function successfully on the job. If, for example, a student is not exposed to online medical terminology classes they will likely not know the correct meaning or definition of certain words when they are exposed to them at work. This could cause serious repercussions for patients if there is misunderstanding between the professionals in charge of their care. Online medical terminology classes prepare all medical professionals with the vocabulary to communicate effectively and accurately with each other and with the patients.

Online medical terminology classes are required for every single career path a student may choose from the many available in the medical areas of study. This may not be the most exciting class a student will take, but its value should not be taken lightly. Just as practitioners in other fields must master a command of job specific vocabulary, those entering the medical job market must likewise absorb and implement the correct vocabulary for their profession.


Practical Prep Tips Before Taking The AAPC Exam …

Professionals who work in the healthcare sector and want to obtain medical coding certification have to pass the AAPC exam. The AAPC exam is not just an ordinary exam you need to pass; it’s the only way to become a professional medical coder which is why it is important to take necessary preparations to achieve great results. The fact is, how you do in this exam is determine largely on how you prepared forit before the exam date. Below are practical tips on how to pass the AAPC exam.
Scour the Internet For Advice
If you want to pass the AAPC exam on the first try, you need to take as many tips as you can, particularly from people who have already took the exam. You can check various medical coding forums and websites. Get in touch with these people and ask for advice or tips from firsthand experience. Make sure to take notes and tab your own CPT books for future references during the exam.
Check The AAPC Website
You can also get in-depth information about the exam from AAPC CPC’s official website. First, check the FAQs section as it has great information that will point you towards which to review first. Enroll in Online Courses Aside from taking advice from forum experts and checking out AAPC CPC’s official website, consider taking online anatomy or medical courses. Take as many online exams as you can. In addition, getting the AAPC certification study guide is critical before taking the aapc exam. By taking the exams and studying the AAPC certification study guide, you can increase your chances of acing the exam and
getting certified.
Check Everything!
It’s important to check everything you need before taking the AAPC exam. From the AAPC’s official site, check your exam location and visit it in person before taking the exam. If you are unsure about the directions, you can use Google maps or Map Quest to point you towards the right direction. The thing is, these are the small details that count the most. You don’t want to get lost on the bid day, so make sure you know where the AAPC exam is going to take place and take all means necessary to make it on time.
Apart from checking he location, it’s equally important to check if you got all the materials you need before taking the AAPC exam. From pens to the appropriate identification, take all these essentials in one bag before the exam. This way, you save time and avoid rushing and confused the day of the exam.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A day before the exam, don’t spend the night reviewing, no matter how tempting it might be. Getting a good night’s sleep puts you in the right state of mind to ace the AAPC exam. Just make sure you got all the things you need the day after, relax and sleep early and then eat a healthy breakfast before you leave.

Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice …

The certification examinations are administered through the AAPC’s local chapters and Professional Medical Coding Curriculum (PMCC) sites. These examinations are proctored by AAPC’s approved

City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Inasmuch as I do not have two years coding experience or provide proof thereof, I understand that upon passing the examination, I will be

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS FOR THE CPC/CCA EXAM Unless the question states otherwise, assume that a physician documented all the information provided.

MEDICAL CODING FROM HOME How to Get Started in the Lucrative Medical Coding Field Presented by: Jim May www.HowToStudyForCPCExam.com

AHIMA Boot Camp provides students an overview of Medical Coding and the transformation of narrative descriptions of diseases, injuries, and healthcare procedures

AAPC Medical Coding Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions 1. Does this class include the certification exam? Answer: Yes, it includes the Certified Professional Coder exam, through the American Academy of

AAPC and AHIMA Certifications 1 | AAPC & AHIMA Certifications Certifying Body Certification Credential Cost(s) Current Coding Books AAPC www.aapc.com

College of Health Related Professions Continuing Education MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING PROGRAM Medical Coding Certification Review Course The review course will prepare individuals planning to sit for the CPC® exam.

Examination Date Examination Index # (available from contact person or online at www.aapc.com) City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Coding course certificate or transcript of completion attached

health insurance companies, health care provider, medical necessity,
EDI, universal medical code numbers, diabetes mellitus, public health, circulatory system, diagnostic codes, incomplete reimbursement, automate this transmission, medical dictionary.

A digital download product designed to prepare you for the AAPC medical coding certification exam by providing you with a practice exam modeled after the real

To U.S. Supreme Court Michael Jackson’s dermatologist resists medical board-ordered exams — Veronica Rocha, Times Community News Follow Veronica Rocha on Twitterand

Stress you feel when taking a medical coding certification exam mostly comes from uncertaintythat if at any time you feel the exam environment is distracting

coding certification. To get the certification, one needs to pass the medical coding certification exam sponsored by AAPC or any other organization. There are a

The: History Physical Exam Medical Decision Makingor other outpatient visit codes (99201-99205), the extensive collection of funny medical slang and acronyms

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam …

View original post: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Read the original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

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See original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

See original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

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kissimmeeworkfromhome.com | Medical … | CPC – CPC Exam Study










CPC Exam PrepClick Image To Visit SiteSo you have completed your medical coding training. You have big plans to make a career in the medical coding field. Smart move! Your next step is to take either the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam or the Certified Coding Specialist-Physician Based (CCS-P) exam.

You were pretty enthusiastic when you first started studying but as the exam draws nearer you are starting to feel “a sense of dread.” Maybe even overwhelm?

… you are basically freaking out with the thought of failing your next attempt at your CPC exam!

Guess what… I was there once before just like you. I remember a time when I was in overwhelm in a hotel room with the test looming just days in the future. I had to pass the test. My job depended on it. Believe me, I feel your pain!

Maybe this is your first time taking the CPC exam. Maybe you have failed before and this is your second or third time trying to get certified. Either way, you are desperate for any method that you could use to improve your chances of passing the exam. Well, I have good news…

My name is Laureen Jandroep (CPC) and I’ve been teaching and coaching medical coders to prepare to be certified coders for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) physician based board exams since 1999. I have taken and passed many of the board exams including: CPC, CPC-H, CCS-P, CCS, RCC and OTR.

I started my career in medical coding when I ran my own successful rehab practice in New Jersey that at its zenith served over 17 long term care facilities with 26 therapists, aides and support staff. My company was approved by Medicare and billed over $1.6… Read more…

Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice …

The certification examinations are administered through the AAPC’s local chapters and Professional Medical Coding Curriculum (PMCC) sites. These examinations are proctored by AAPC’s approved

City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Inasmuch as I do not have two years coding experience or provide proof thereof, I understand that upon passing the examination, I will be

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS FOR THE CPC/CCA EXAM Unless the question states otherwise, assume that a physician documented all the information provided.

MEDICAL CODING FROM HOME How to Get Started in the Lucrative Medical Coding Field Presented by: Jim May www.HowToStudyForCPCExam.com

AHIMA Boot Camp provides students an overview of Medical Coding and the transformation of narrative descriptions of diseases, injuries, and healthcare procedures

AAPC Medical Coding Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions 1. Does this class include the certification exam? Answer: Yes, it includes the Certified Professional Coder exam, through the American Academy of

AAPC and AHIMA Certifications 1 | AAPC & AHIMA Certifications Certifying Body Certification Credential Cost(s) Current Coding Books AAPC www.aapc.com

College of Health Related Professions Continuing Education MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING PROGRAM Medical Coding Certification Review Course The review course will prepare individuals planning to sit for the CPC® exam.

Examination Date Examination Index # (available from contact person or online at www.aapc.com) City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Coding course certificate or transcript of completion attached

health insurance companies, health care provider, medical necessity,
EDI, universal medical code numbers, diabetes mellitus, public health, circulatory system, diagnostic codes, incomplete reimbursement, automate this transmission, medical dictionary.

A digital download product designed to prepare you for the AAPC medical coding certification exam by providing you with a practice exam modeled after the real

To U.S. Supreme Court Michael Jackson’s dermatologist resists medical board-ordered exams — Veronica Rocha, Times Community News Follow Veronica Rocha on Twitterand

Stress you feel when taking a medical coding certification exam mostly comes from uncertaintythat if at any time you feel the exam environment is distracting

coding certification. To get the certification, one needs to pass the medical coding certification exam sponsored by AAPC or any other organization. There are a

The: History Physical Exam Medical Decision Makingor other outpatient visit codes (99201-99205), the extensive collection of funny medical slang and acronyms

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam …

View original post: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Read the original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

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Excerpt from: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

See original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

See original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Reflections: Rheumatic Heart Disease Stole Him while Asthma Bore …

angelMy brother was born three years earlier than me; yet when we joined kindergarten; I appeared his senior by physique. Matters were not improved by his decision to abscond classes leading him to repeat the class while I went to standard one. He may have been disturbed by the frequent comments that I was his senior but I never envied such a position.

 

He was born with a chest condition. I did not know his diagnosis while growing up. All my parents said was he had a chest that tightened and obstructed during cold weather, at times even when he was angry.

 

I frequently saw him in such attacks, coiled up in bed, having shortness of breath and a musical noise that proceeded from his wind pipes.  When I cleared primary school and proceeded to secondary, he remained behind for his final class. His chest problems went on and he was not symptom free.

 

Soon I go accepted into medical school. The excitement sent me into his document box where I pored through all prescriptions and other medical records I could find. I was looking for the medical terminology for what his problem was. I eventually found a document that indicated ‘ASTHMA’ as his problem. Now I knew. I was not interested in management as I was sure that the doctors were treating him correctly.

 

Years passed on and I was going on with my medical training. My excitement now was to get past the basic years and get to know how to examine patients and now-at long last- what to find in a patient with asthma. While I continued to study course after course in my basic university years he was concluding his high school. During his final year in high school, just months before he sat in his final national exams, he had come down with a severe asthmatic attack and chest infection that kept him off classes for weeks.

 

By now I had read some pharmacology of drugs acting on the respiratory system, including the bronchodilators used in asthma management.  Since my medical school was hundreds of kilometres from home and I only got home during the end of year long holidays, I would advise over the phone that the drugs he had been prescribed from the local health facilities were okay since the tablets fit in the class of bronchodilators and their indication for asthma made a complete picture.

 

After acquiring a stethoscope at the end of third year, I travelled home expecting to auscultate his chest and hear some wheezes and rhonchi. I was still curtailed in the province where we doctors make the greatest impact, getting the bigger picture and the underlying condition in every patient. I must have heard some loud murmur that morning when I examined his chest. The ubiquitous wheeze of course satisfied me and I purchased for him some steroids and beta agonists and left him a prescription. I don’t remember how I signed that prescription but he would later carry it to the pharmacy severally and get the tablets whenever it was necessary.

 

In the ensuing two or so years, he continued using my prescription while I gained more clinical knowledge and skills in medical school. His attacks persisted and during my final year I received a phone call informing that he was really sick. I advised him to attend a nearby district hospital.

 

“They have sent me for a chest X-ray.”

 

“It’s okay, just go and have it done”, I told him. I imagined it was some pneumonia or just a logical clinician anxious to look at his chest radiograph. What he said after the X-ray shocked me.

 

“They are saying that my heart is enlarged”.

 

“Have you also been having some swollen legs?”

 

“Actually, this time round the whole of my body was swollen”. Oh my God! I was awakened at this. I already knew we were talking about heart failure.  And now the picture was becoming clear, though with the introspective anguish of ‘I wish I knew’. Why did I not explore more about that murmur I had picked earlier? And yes, since as far back as I could remember, he had always used a pillow. Otherwise lying flat would exacerbate his chest attacks.

 

During my internal medicine rotation I had paid special attention to the ‘ASTHMA AND COPD’ class. And I was happy with the following two take home points;

 

  1. Inhalers are the mainstay of management. To this end I was preparing to text some prescription for my brother and advise him to stop the oral medications.
  2. Well managed asthma is associated with minimal mortality and has no effect on one’s life expectancy. This point had really reassured me and I was focused on having my brother achieve good control and get into college.

 

So this news of body swelling and an enlarged heart was such a frustration and overruled my prevailing thoughts.

 

I recommended a mission hospital near home.  He was started on anti-failure medication and informed that he had incompetent valves. He had to do some echo and get a cardiologist for follow-up. I was busy preparing for my final exams and I assured him that I would facilitate all that once I was done with school.

 

During my graduation ceremony, he asked me what apparently had been a disturbing question.

 

“So now what is the end point? When do I stop using the anti-failure medication?” he also wanted to know what would be done to correct his valves. It was no easy question. After some minutes of awkward silence, I mustered the courage and spoke.

 

“Well, it means the heart is weak and we have to use the anti-failure medication for as long as the valves are not functioning well. What we have to focus on now is doing the echo and seeing a cardiologist to hear his advice. But we have to keep using the drugs.” He did not speak to me again the whole day.

 

He remained compliant on his medication. Meanwhile, I was awaiting my internship posting and still figuring out plans to get the cardiologist review and the echo which had to be booked in advance. It is the luxury of time that I was not accorded. I was away from him following up on my internship posting when I got a disturbing call.

 

His condition had deteriorated and he had been admitted to a nearby hospital. The resident doctor was not comfortable having him there. She had advanced plans of referring him to the national referral hospital for thorough investigations, including the echo.

 

I teamed up with him at the referral hospital since I was already in the capital. He looked worse than he had been weeks earlier. But he was more optimistic compared to the day he had confronted me about his prognosis. I remember wheeling him into the lifts and up to the medical wards late that evening, and having to point out to the nurse repeatedly that he was a cardiac patient so he could get a cardiac bed at the overstretched facility.

 

Several lab works, ward rounds and an echo later, he was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. The problem was his saturation of oxygen were discouraging.

 

I saw him frequently during the visiting hours. One day I met him confused. He reportedly was acting violently the previous night and had been sedated and restrained in his bed. I stole a moment and spoke to the intern. Despite his busy schedule, he had the meekness to explain to me that my brother needed some inotropic support. That they had arranged with the ICU and when the next bed would be available he would be transferred there!

 

This new twist was way beyond my comprehension. I understood a possible scenario of the several asthmatic attacks having masked the symptoms of sore throat and the subsequent rheumatic fever. And the same continuing to hide the symptoms of failure as the chronic cough and easy fatigability were constantly linked to asthma- of course on the strength of thriving ignorance from me when I should have asked more questions. But how he could get so severely sick and get renal insufficiency was beyond fathom. His echo had showed an ejection fraction of over 60%.

 

He died the day I got my posting letter for my internship. I felt useless and thought of tearing up my degree certificate. This was the worst induction into a career in medicine. My brother was taken away from me before the knowledge I had been gathering for six years could help him. I packed and left for internship as soon as we had buried him.

 

 

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