Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

Swine Flu Update: October 21

October 21, 2009

Let’s just call this The Panic Edition! since there are several reports that could really keep you up at night if you let them.

South Korea has a problem. And this is a big problem, too: Five people are dead after receiving their Seasonal Flu shot.

Five people over three days is not a trend, but with all three of them having recently received their vaccinations, it does warrant a second look. South Korea has some smart people looking into this, and Americans need not panic; the vaccine involved is from a local manufacturer and is probably not distributed in the United States.

We have problems of our own to worry about. Eurosurvellence ran a model using Centers for Disease Control reports and they feel that 63% of the people in the US will be infected. They also feel that the vaccination program here will be too little, too late as H1N1 begins to snowball out of control. The American College Health Association contradicts this, they feel the flu is trending down. Anyone want to take a guess?

Our Aussie and New Zealand friends have learned that Oxygen can be a key to survival. 79% of H1N1 patients treated with Oxygen survived their bout with the flu. The bad news is that the 79% were treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). That’s not a mask over your face, ECMO is an advanced heart-lung machine. And there aren’t that many around.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is also reporting that there seems to be two versions of H1N1 – 99% of the cases make you feel like crap for a week. The other one percent will make you “gravely ill and require staggering amounts of care.”

Mexico has discovered something quite unusual. There is no link here because the original report is in Spanish, and I had to run it through an online translator to read it. Online translators can’t pick up on the subtle clues in a language that a person can, and they can come out looking really strange. It didn’t make any sense at all, so I had to print it out and take it to a person who read it to me – that is why there is no link.

According to the Mexicans, 29% of all H1N1 fatalities in that country involved one factor: the victim was a smoker. When you factor out the people “too young to smoke” the percentage goes up – WAY up.

So now, on top of getting your vaccination, you have a damn good reason to get away from the smokes!

“The time has come to speak of many things.”

November 14, 2008

Katie’s father continues to write on her website, working through his emotions at this trying time. He’s a really good writer! I’m sure he’s not writing for style or content, but he’s very eloquent.

While not concerning Congenital Heart Defects, this is important information to have in case of a heart attack: Find out if a hospital in your area supports the STEMI protocol, and try to find out their Door to Balloon time. Then contact the organization in charge of Ambulance Services in your area and find out if and how their vehicles and First Responders are coordinated with STEMI. During a heart attack, time is muscle – the longer it takes to get quality care, the worse the damage to the heart. A properly organized STEMI response can cut that time. Here’s a good example of STEMI in action: Ambulance dispatched: 8:07; Catherization Balloon inflated: 9:08. Another example is provided by Elaine, a brand new nurse who sees a STEMI developing in the ER. The STEMI system isn’t perfect, but it is a good start. CHDer’s usually don’t have “traditional” heart attacks, but it is good to know this information, just in case a friend or family member has one.

How to help prevent medical mistakes. Also, ten questions you should ask about your scheduled surgery.

If you see an elf, blast ‘im! (Link from The LawDog Files. The title of his blog always reminds of the classic line from the movie Tombstone.)

Gene therapy for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)! If that doesn’t work, perhaps a gas will. (Careful of that gas, though! This is not a Do-It-Yourself treatment!)

This will be great – a pacemaker powered by the heart itself! Here’s a photo. And here’s Georgia Tech’s version.

Just in case you haven’t figured it out, we’re spending a lot of money on health care for chronic diseases. How much? TOO much – just read question 1. More than half of us can’t afford what we need, but a lot of that money could be saved… both in the private sector and in Medicare costs. New MRI scanners and CT scanners add a LOT to total Medicare costs – and that’s not installation costs.

There are two ways to cut your heart attack risk – take Crestor, which cuts your heart attack risk 44% (and costs a pretty penny) or get up off your butt, lay down the smokes, and take care of yourself! Exercise even helps Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients, who usually show up in the Cardiologist’s office so much, we qualify for frequent flyer miles. The problem is, given a choice between taking a pill (and perhaps having someone else pay for it) and taking care of ourselves, a lot of Americans would take the easy way out. And that little fact is making The Happy Hospitalist have a 100% officially certified BAD DAY.

I tend to agree with him.