These days, you can find Fred Sieben back at his favorite fishing spots. Yet earlier this year, Fred’s health took a severe turn and his wife, Gail, had worried that he wouldn’t recover.
Fred, a 72-year-old Freehold resident, passed out at home on January 16. His blood sugar was dangerously low. Gail called 9-1-1, and Fred was transported to the Emergency Department at CentraState Medical Center.
He was admitted to the hospital’s Statesir Family Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit with low blood sugar and kidney failure that was complicated by congestive heart failure (CHF).
“The first week he was in the hospital was concerning,” remembers Gail. “The doctors ran lots of tests, but it seemed that he wasn’t responding to treatment.”
Fred’s primary care physician, Nivedita Sharma, MD, who is board certified in internal medicine, worked to coordinate care among the specialists involved in his treatment. Because CHF causes fluid to build up around the heart and makes it pump inefficiently, Fred’s body was retaining a large amount of fluid. When diuretics didn’t work, he began receiving dialysis services to help drain the fluid.
“On the ACE Unit, geriatricians, internal medicine physicians, and other specialists work together to develop a treatment plan,” says Dr. Sharma. “This coordination of care is vitally important when treating seniors, who often have multiple, complex medical issues.”
Fred spent about six weeks on the ACE Unit, receiving dialysis two to three times a week, before being admitted to The Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center for a month to regain his strength and ability to walk. A week of outpatient rehabilitation helped him climb stairs again.
Since that time, his sugar and fluids have stabilized, he’s off dialysis, and he’s enjoying his fishing time. Fred and Gail also marked their 50th anniversary in May, and celebrated with a recent trip to Virginia.
“Dr. Sharma and the team on the ACE Unit saved Fred’s life,” says Gail. “The care was fantastic. I just can’t say enough about it.”