“When I first became a GP in England well over 30 years ago, the early diagnosis of myocardial infarction (heart attack) was a matter of slight importance, since there was no intervention which made any difference to survival.
“You tried to reach patients in their homes quickly to relieve their pain with heroin, but only sent them to hospital if their pain was not controlled, or they were going into shock. Studies at the time indicated that patients with heart attacks survived better at home, where they were less likely to be killed with injections of lidocaine.”
Quite a difference, according to Dr. Richard Lehman, writing this in the British Medical Journal, compared to modern cardiac care options like clot-busting thrombolytic drugs or invasive coronary angioplasty procedures that are now routinely available to patients presenting with heart attack symptoms these days. (Unless, of course, you happen to be a woman in your 50s presenting to the E.R in mid-heart attack, in which case, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, you are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed and sent home compared to your male counterparts with the same symptoms).(1) But I digress . . . Continue reading “What if I’d had my heart attack decades earlier?”