A great lesson in how not to report about heart attacks in the general media, from Gary Schwitzer, health journalism watchdog:
Journalists: don’t use the term “massive” heart attack if you don’t know what you’re talking about
… Very quickly, the term “massive heart attack” started going viral among Minnesota news organizations and on Twitter and Facebook.
Two and a half hours later, Rybak was tweeting from the hospital: “My cardiac surprise/Gave me quite a start/But it proves this politician/Has a great big heart.”
“His former spokesman, John Stiles, described the heart attack as “serious,’’ but said Rybak will be released in several days.”
“Massive heart attack” is a vague, frightening, dangerous term to be throwing around in the absence of evidence. I know how I reacted when I read the news yesterday; many other readers’ comments showed that they thought Rybak was dead or dying imminently.
Read the entire post at HealthNewsReview.Org.
Although primary PCI has emerged as the best treatment for STEMI, most patients don’t receive this treatment within the early time frame when it is known to be most beneficial. Delay in presentation is one important factor. Another is that most patients don’t arrive at a PCI-capable hospital and cannot be transferred fast enough to a PCI hospital.
The STREAM (Strategic Reperfusion Early after Myocardial Infarction) trial was planned as a proof-of-concept study to assess whether fibrinolysis was a beneficial alternative in this difficult group. Results were presented at the ACC in San Francisco and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Click here to read the full story on Forbes.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, heart attacks in New Orleans followed a well-known circadian and septadian (today’s word of the day, meaning day of the week) pattern, with predictable increases on Mondays and in the morning hours. Now a new study finds that the notorious 2005 hurricane dramatically altered that pattern for at least three years, shifting the pattern to a much greater than expected occurrence over nights and weekends.
Read my full story on Forbes.