Tag Archives: Cleveland Clinic

Dear Cleveland Clinic: It’s food, not poison, for crying out loud!

30 Apr

Earth to Cleveland Clinic dietitians: please stop sharing your joyless, preachy, pinched-face, finger-wagging lectures about foods you consider to be evil. In a rush to convince the great unwashed out here to improve our daily diet, many so-called “experts” like you seem to believe that nagging and food-shaming are the most effective ways to change behaviour. Trust me, they are not.

Today, I offer two examples of dietary advice, one that I plan to not only ignore but publicly mock, as well as one terrific example (definitely not from Cleveland Clinic) that’s already printed and posted on my fridge door. Continue reading

What if hospital staff could read our minds?

5 Apr

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Thank you, Cleveland Clinic, for producing this moving 4 1/2 minute little film, Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

Too embarrassed to call 911 during a heart attack?

12 Mar

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When I was sent home from the Emergency Department with a misdiagnosis of acid reflux, I felt horribly embarrassed that I’d made such a fuss over nothing (well, nothing but textbook heart attack symptoms like chest pain, nausea, sweating and pain radiating down my left arm).  It then took me two full weeks of increasingly debilitating cardiac symptoms before I forced myself to return to that same hospital, desperately ill yet still not completely certain this could be heart-related. After all, hadn’t an Emergency physician with the letters M.D. after his name told me quite emphatically:

“This is NOT your heart!”

It was only when my symptoms became truly unbearable that I knew I had to go back to the E.R. This extreme reluctance to get help is what doctors call treatment-seeking delay behaviour, and in the middle of a heart attack, it can be a deadly delay. We already know that the average person in mid-heart attack will wait four hours before getting medical help.  Why? One reason may well be that we’re too simply too embarrassed to attract attention to ourselves during a heart attack.   Continue reading

Inside your heart – as captured by National Geographic

9 Apr

Here’s how your heart looks during a coronary angiography procedure. The white/yellow blood vessels are bringing oxygenated blood to the working muscles of the heart.  (See link below to the whole slide show).

Coronary angiography (also called cardiac catheterization) is sometimes referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of diagnostics for heart patients. The procedure involves threading a tiny catheter through an artery in the wrist or groin and pushing it up, up, up right into the beating heart. It’s considered to be an invasive procedure, but not surgical. Patients are sedated, but usually awake throughout.

The catheter is guided through the artery with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast material (dye) is injected through the catheter and x-ray movies are created as the contrast material moves through the heart’s chambers, valves and major vessels.

The interventional cardiologists in the ‘cath lab’ then watch your beating heart up on the monitor, where they can spot any coronary arteries that are blocked or narrowed, and evaluate your heart function. If significant blockages are seen, further procedures like balloon angioplasty, stent implants or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) – commonly known as bypass surgery – may be attempted to restore blood flow to the threatened heart muscle.

I’ve undergone two of these invasive cardiac procedures – the first an emergency catheterization and stent implant when I was hospitalized for a heart attack, the second 15 months later to investigate ongoing cardiac symptoms. And I can tell you that it is freakishly fascinating to lie on the cath lab table, sedated yet very awake, and watch your own beating heart on the overhead monitor.   Continue reading

Cardiologist’s plan: “Fat people need not apply for jobs at Cleveland Clinic”

24 Aug

cleveland clinic

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

For the past two years, the Cleveland Clinic has refused to hire smokers.  This non-profit American research and treatment health centre (consistently rated as the #1 heart institute in North America) introduced this groundbreaking no-smoking hiring initiative as a way to walk the talk about the health and wellness of not only the 50,000 patients admitted each year, but of its 1,800 employees.

But now the head of the Cleveland Clinic says he wants to take this bold hiring policy one step further – and some are saying this would be going too far.  Dr. Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, the heart surgeon who is the Clinic’s CEO, told the New York Times that if it were up to him, he would not only stop hiring smokers. He would also stop hiring overweight people. Continue reading