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”
This is a man told by the photographer to act like he’s having a heart attack.
One of the reasons that I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack (even while I was actually having one) was my very inaccurate stereotype of what a woman’s heart attack can look like.
I used to think that heart attacks happen only to men. Old men. Mostly out-of-shape chain smokers and heavy drinkers. Old, out-of-shape, smoking, drinking men, who one day out on the golf course suddenly clutch their chests in agony and keel over, unconscious. CPR. 911. Golf buddies yelling. Ambulance sirens. Paramedics. Defibrillator paddles. That’s a heart attack, right?
Wrong, my dear heart sisters. That’s NOT a heart attack. Continue reading “This is NOT what a woman’s heart attack looks like”
Leslie Pitt is a marriage and family therapist whose husband Graham suffered a terrifying sudden cardiac arrest in his sleep while on vacation in Hilton Head Island, North Carolina. In this short and compelling video, she talks about the care they each received from 9-1-1 dispatchers and Fire Rescue personnel – care that not only saved Graham’s life, but significantly reduced her own post-traumatic stress. Continue reading “The heart patient’s not the only one in the room”
This EKG* belongs to a person who died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest on the golf course, approximately nine minutes after his heart went into a state of ventricular fibrillation (VF). Sudden cardiac death almost always results from VF – a rapid and disorganized activation of the heart’s ventricles. The best way to stop VF is to defibrillate the heart to try to restore regular rhythm and restore normal contractions through the use of electric shock. Continue reading “What sudden cardiac arrest looks like”
The Bee Gees’ disco smash hit ‘Stayin’ Alive’ is more appropriately titled than anyone could have realized. Did you know that this 1977 song’s beat is apparently the ideal speed at which to perform chest compressions in cardiac arrest victims? Having practised cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with the song, research study participants could maintain the ideal rhythm weeks later by simply thinking about the tune as they performed the procedure.
Research from the University of Illinois, presented during an American College of Emergency Physicians’ scientific assembly in Chicago, found that at 103 beats per minute, the song Stayin’ Alive is almost the same pace as the recommended 100 chest compressions per minute for hands-only CPR. Continue reading “How the Bee Gees can save your life during a cardiac arrest”
One of the reasons that I believed the Emergency physician who had misdiagnosed me with acid reflux during my heart attack was my very inaccurate perception of what a heart attack looks like.
I used to think that heart attacks happen mostly to men. Old men. Old fat men who are out-of-shape-chain smokers and heavy drinkers. Old fat out-of-shape smoking drinking men who one day out on the golf course suddenly clutch their chests and keel over, unconscious. CPR. 911. Ambulance sirens screaming. Paramedics. Defibrillator paddles. That’s a heart attack, right?
Wrong, my dear heart sisters. Continue reading “Is sudden cardiac arrest the same thing as a heart attack?”