Depression is common after cardiac surgery, and patients’ circumstances should be asked about in postdischarge consultations.
- Always thoroughly examine patients who have been discharged from hospital after cardiac illness.
- Always consider the patient’s circumstances and mental health after serious medical illness.
- Be alert to psychomotor retardation as a presentation of depression – patients with this often require hospitalisation.
- Be wary of decreasing a patient’s antidepressants in a GP setting when the patient is already seriously depressed, and especially at a time of crisis.
- Always consider QT prolongation (with the associated increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias) in patients who are on multiple medications (especially when there is a cardiac and psychiatric history).
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