As part of our occasional “Dear Carolyn” series of personal patient perspectives shared by my readers, today I’m introducing you to Canadian heart patient, Linda Vardy, a retired high school math teacher. You might expect that Linda’s experience of undergoing triple bypass surgery at age 61 (after being told for almost a year that all of her cardiac test results were “inconclusive”) would be a dominant theme in her story – but that part is for a future post.
Today, in this Dear Carolynepisode (our 11th in the occasional series featuring Heart Sisters readers sharing their heart patient perspectives), we’ll attempt to address my reader Eva’s observations about how our heart attacks are currently classified:
“I take issue with the terms STEMI (the most serious type of heart attack) and NSTEMI (a slightly less serious heart attack).But both types of heart attack have a serious impact on our lives and how we live them.”
In 2018, many viewers of the hit NBC television drama “This Is Us” learned the term “widow maker heart attack” for the first time when the beloved main character Jack Pearson was pronounced dead. As TIME magazine later reported, online searches for that term spiked more than 5,000 per cent in the hours after that episode aired. Some viewers took to social media to tell their stories about loved ones who had died from – or survived – their own cardiac events.
At last! This long-awaited first-ever Guideline for the Evaluation and Diagnosis of Chest Pain for physicians and their patients has done a deep dive to help improve accuracy in evaluating and diagnosing cardiac symptoms(1) – a huge and overwhelming effort. I’m hopeful that updated guidelines might represent a turning point for all women presenting with those symptoms – and for the physicians who diagnose them. Here’s my take on the impressive new Chest Pain Guideline – along with a few concerns: . . Continue reading “New chest pain guideline: “atypical” is OUT!”→