Learn or Blame: when mistakes happen in medicine

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥   @HeartSisters

Mistakes happen in medicine, just like in every other workplace. As intensive care physician and president of The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) Dr. Samantha Batt-Rawden reminded us in a BBC Newsnight interview:

“If patients are looking for a doctor who has never made a mistake, they simply won‘t find one.”       .          .         .

Continue reading “Learn or Blame: when mistakes happen in medicine”

Post-COVID handshakes: dread or delight?

hand-shake-4092737_1280by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

  • the COVID-19 variants
  • our record-breaking heat wave
  • devastating forest fires
  • air quality (see: forest fires)
  • the deer eating my zinnias

Okay, that last one may seem trivial (but I was TOLD that deer won’t touch zinnias – which is apparently FALSE!)  I have also noticed that my cardiac symptoms don’t even make that worry list these days.    n .        .   Continue reading “Post-COVID handshakes: dread or delight?”

Heavy menstrual cycles and those anticoagulant drugs you’re taking

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Sara Wyen is a writer and founder of Blood Clot Recovery Network, a site that helps patients through the recovery process from deep vein thrombosis* or pulmonary embolism*. Her own story about a freakishly heavy period while taking her anticoagulant medication is a good one to share with any women you know who are prescribed these drugs.    .            .     Continue reading “Heavy menstrual cycles and those anticoagulant drugs you’re taking”

Did you underestimate your cardiac risk?

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

GREEHEARTI was once asked by a U.S. publisher to review a new book written by a heart patient, a memoir about her surprising diagnosis.  But about 12 pages in, she mentioned that she had been a chain-smoker for three decades before her “surprising” cardiac diagnosis.  I had to re-read that line. How could a person who had been chain smoking for decades possibly be “surprised” by this predictable outcome? Didn’t this clearly intelligent, educated woman know that smoking is a dangerous risk factor for heart disease (and a whole bunch of other nasty health issues)?   I thought of this book recently when a new study from Harvard researcher Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas reported that women are in fact more likely than men to underestimate their own risk of heart disease.    .        .       .      Continue reading “Did you underestimate your cardiac risk?”

This is your heart in hot weather

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Welcome to Lotus Land, where, alas, it’s been stinkin’ hot lately. This is tragically unfair, I think. I moved here to Canada’s beautiful West Coast decades ago in order to escape the kind of soul-sucking sauna that passes for summer back east.

And because uncomfortably hot weather is so deliciously rare here, few of us even have air conditioning, although I do have a little electric fan that I’ve started carrying around the apartment with me from room to room this past week.

Continue reading “This is your heart in hot weather”

A tale of two studies – 268 years apart

lemonsICEby Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters 

I wrote last week about patients who tend to believe medical studies whose findings they like – but not so much if they don’t.  Hardly surprisingly, many physicians may also tend to promote the results of studies when conclusions match their own clinical experience – and not so much if they don’t. That’s exactly what Dr. James Lind worried about, too – way back in the year 1753.  Dr. Lind’s story may have been one of the earliest examples of what’s often called the “bench to bedside” delay between research findings and the time they take to ultimately trickle down to alter actual patient care.   .    .     .  Continue reading “A tale of two studies – 268 years apart”