Ejection Fraction

Time to get schooled on a relatively unknown medical term.

Ejection Fraction… Your left ventricle is super important (as is the rest of your heart). Okay, maybe some explanation… Your heart is made up of 4 chambers. Right and left Atrial and right and left ventricles.

Your Atrial are the top of your heart. they are what bring in the oxygenated blood in from the lungs. They then pump that blood into the ventricles. The left ventricle is what pumps all that blood back into your body. Now, I am totally oversimplifying this and I know this, but for the sake of a quick blog, this will suffice.

So your “Ejection Fraction” is the percentage of blood pumped out of your left ventricle and pushed back into your body.

The following is an excerpt from the American Heart Association )Image is also credited to them.)

What’s normal?

  • A normal heart’s ejection fraction may be between 50 and 70.
  • You can have a normal ejection fraction reading and still have heart failure (called HFpEF or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction). If the heart muscle has become so thick and stiff that the ventricle holds a smaller-than-usual volume of blood, it might still seem to pump out a normal percentage of the blood that enters it. In reality, though, the total amount of blood pumped isn’t enough to meet your body’s needs.

What’s too low?

  • A measurement under 40 may be evidence of heart failure or cardiomyopathy.
  • An EF from 41 to 49 may be considered “borderline” but does not always indicate that a person is developing heart failure.  It may indicate damage, perhaps from a previous heart attack.
  • In severe cases, EF can be very low.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, my ejection fraction basically dropped down to 34% before my open heart and came back up to a “borderline” level of 45% after the operation. So now, feel sluggish a lot. When I try to do cardio exercise, I get fatigued a lot easier. Lack of stamina, and, lack of other things that require good blood flow… wink, wink…

Until next time, stay safe and take care of yourselves!

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